Matching Fund

Help small groups that want to organize a gig but lack sufficient funds to do so.

In recent tour-booking efforts, I have found that in most of the US there is interest in organizing gigs from many small local groups, but there’s often a lack of funds.  There used to be a huge network of college gigs that basically subsidized the other gigs in the US, but they completely dried up for me and most other touring performers a long time ago.  In Europe there are other institutions that play this role for me — unions, left political parties and squats — but in the US we don’t really have these things the way they do in other places.

At the same time as these changes have taken place in terms of touring in the US, the floor dropped out from underneath artists in terms of selling CDs, when they stopped being a thing in any significant way.  I formed a CSA that has compensated for the loss of CD sales, and I crowdfund most of my recordings in order to make them.  I have had some success with an ongoing campaign to organize some US gigs for 2019 by selling the tickets first on a state-by-state basis, and I’ve lined up gigs in several states that way (so far Washington, Arizona, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Massachusetts).  But my goal is to tour throughout the US the way I used to do, and that goal is far from being realized.

So here’s the basic idea.  In order for me to travel to a state where I don’t have any other gigs lined up, the gig needs to pay $500.  Because if that’s the only gig I have in the area, then most of that money will go to travel costs, but at least I won’t lose money on the trip.  And if I do find other gigs in the area (sometimes a big if), then each of them “only” needs to pay a guarantee at least $250, because the first gig will have covered my travel expenses.

But therein lies the conundrum.  I’m under the impression that there are many groups that might manage to guarantee $250 one way or another, but far fewer who can underwrite $500.  Of course if all goes well, the gigs don’t lose money and groups don’t need to spend their own money — people buy tickets.  But sometimes it doesn’t work out so well, and my landlord says someone needs to guarantee I don’t lose money on the plane ticket.

So my plan here is simple:  If the money exists here in this Matching Fund to facilitate the plan, then every time a group writes me to say they want to organize a gig but can only manage a $250 guarantee — and they’re in a far-away location where I would need a $500 guarantee in order to make the trip — then I take $250 from the Matching Fund and voila, we have the money for the plane ticket (or other forms of transport, depending).  As funds come in and are spent, I’ll have a list below of where they are used.  If anyone wants to specify that donations only be used for certain purposes, such as shows in certain states or countries, I’ll happily make a note of that below and only use such funds for such purposes.

As soon as I have $250 in the Matching Fund, the money will be quickly spent on groups I’m in touch with that are already waiting for such a fund to exist.  Recurring donations are most welcome, and amount in the fund will be updated as those donations come in as well.  Please let me know if you’d rather your donation to be anonymous or not.

Raised So Far:  $110

Spent So Far:  $0

For anyone wanting to transfer money via bank transfer or by other means, please email me for any details you may need.  Checks in the mail in any currency are most welcome:

David Rovics
PO Box 86805
Portland, Oregon  97286