Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thoughts on Celtic Thunder's Fanclub Plans

A brief hiatus from my Celtic Thunder fast to talk about new developments...

So, if you were getting a little lazy over the summer and thinking there was no new drama to titillate your indignation, Celtic Thunder is here to supply.  They've stirred up a bit of a hornet's nest with the introduction of their new upcoming fanclub. Some fans are supportive, some are quite ticked.  And I imagine that there is a big group of silent ones thinking, "I'll wait and see how this plays out."

I've thought a little about what I really think about it all... and thought I'd try to lay my thoughts out on paper, varied as they are. These are purely my own... I haven't even spoken to anyone in CT about this since the news hit.

What I Think The Fanclub Really Is

I don't think the fanclub is merely a fanclub... not in the sense that we're used to hearing it, or used to participating in through other artists. The more I re-read what CT's is probably going to look like, the more I see it as a form of crowd-funding.

Now, crowd-funding is relatively new... and I think it's something that has been met with varying levels of acceptance and disdain, depending on how resistant to change you are.  We're used to the Field of Dreams model of funding.

"If you build it, they will come."  That idea that the creator provides the capital to produce an item, then produces it, and only then does the consumer come along and join the system.  And we all hope that the demand for the product exceeds the cost of producing it and that the system can start all over again.

Crowdfunding is totally different... and if all you've known is the Field of Dreams model, it can be hard to embrace. Crowdfunding changes everything around... the capital comes, in part, from the community of people demanding the product be produced.  It takes a little of the guesswork out of merely hoping that the cost of production will be covered by the revenue.

Honestly, some of my favorite projects have come about through crowdfunding, so I'm a proponent of the idea of it...  but it's still a new thing, a new idea, a new philosophy.  And so, even for me, it can sometimes be hard to wrap my head around, hard to accept.  But, the truth is that more and more projects are being funded this way, and I have to think that maybe this is the direction that creative projects are going to go in the future.

What I Don't Think the Fanclub Is

Mere money-mongering.

I don't. And probably, I'm not an impartial judge as Sharon has always been my friend. But I see this far more as a response to a changing business environment than it is to simply lining someone's pockets.

The thing is... Celtic Thunder, though I have always loved it, is not a necessity. Food, shelter, clothing... these are necessities. Front row concert tickets?  Not so much, but we all get to decide what things are worth to us.

Being a Celtic Thunder fan is an expensive endeavor. You want to see concerts... and in the best seats that you can. In addition, you want to support the careers of the singers... Ryan, Neil, Ryan and Neil, Keith, Colm, Emmet, Damian, Paul, and of course until recently, George. It's not cheap... and eventually, you have to start making choices.

What Will I Do?

Truthfully, I don't know yet. I think there are some questions that need to be answered before I can make that decision.  I think the question of how the Platinum tickets will line up with PBS tickets is a valid one that should be addressed at some point. And I would want to see a specific list of benefits for each fanclub level before making a decision. I need to know if the benefits are worth the price to me...

And right now, I'm not sure. Am I still the kind of fan that needs to invest so heavily? I don't know.

Maybe I will decide to invest. Maybe I will decide to take that money and take in some extra concerts elsewhere.

But, either way I decide...  I'm not upset. No one is hurting me if I decide that it isn't worth it to me.  It's just a decision I've made based on what's important to me and what's not.

1 comment:

  1. It is not worth the extra investment to me. George was my biggest draw to CT. I would rather try to go to individual gigs some of the lads do if they work in my schedule or even to see other artists I love like Lindsey Stirling or Christina Grimmie.


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