Microfundo: the hottest new site for emerging artists

For those who have ever dreamed of becoming involved in creating their local music scene, they may finally have the opportunity make this dream a reality through Microfundo, a new Boston-based company that encourages fans to work as a community to bring developing bands and artists to preform in their towns.

A self-proclaimed “new mashup of music and microfinance”, Microfundo was primarily inspired by a movement in the town of Belem, Brazil called ‘tecno brega’ (kitschy beats), where artists give their music to street vendors who in turn sell the tracks at incredibly low prices. Though the artist would not make any profit from the sales of their music, they would consistently sell out their shows.

When creating the company, Chief Information Officer Brad Powell decided that, because many first-world countries aren’t littered with music vendors, the Internet could serve as the vendor instead. This is where Powell began to pull inspiration from sites like GroupOn, who flourish due to their one-day online bargains. When up-and-coming artists want to promote or book a gig, they can talk with Microfundo about doing their own one-day deal, where they sell their music for $1. By doing this, the musicians benefit as their music spreads to all corners of the world as fanatics flock to the site, hoping to grab a deal and be the first in their area to know about the newest thing in music. According to Powell, with this method, the artist has a much greater chance of playing a sold-out show and the venues hosting the show are placing themselves at less of a risk, knowing that their client is actively creating a backing.

“I can find out about a group on the other side of the country and bring them to my town and make a concert happen,” said Powell, “I can develop a music scene where I live.”

But it isn’t only artists, venues, and music enthusiasts that are benefiting from Microfundo; a percentage of the proceeds are donated to youth music and dance education programs, particularly in struggling communities.

The most exciting aspect of Microfundo is the idea that fans can watch their artists grow from the humble beginnings when they were first presented online, encouraging a relationship between the musicians and their fanbases. Powell claims that the resulting backing would be similar to that the band Grateful Dead, whose loyal followers, Deadheads, followed them religiously throughout their career. This would set the company apart from sites like KIVA and Kickstarter, who focus on a tidy, businesslike, fundraise-and-go setup with little interaction between the benefactor and the recipient.

To listen to the newest developing artists or to learn about how your band can be a part of the Microfundo movement, visit their website at www.microfundo.com


~ by bristolstudios on August 4, 2011.

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