Ever heard of Amanda Palmer? The social media expert and former leader of the “punk cabaret” act Dresden Dolls invoked the wrath of the Internet after performing what we believe to be something of a brilliant act: turning a social media win into a full-scale PR fail.
In short: After her band went on hiatus, Palmer became a solo artist—but she had a bit of trouble raising money for an album/tour in “this economy” (sing it, sister). So she did what all social media mavens do these days and went on Kickstarter to raise funds. She went so far as to call crowdsourcing “the future of music”, and her generous fans backed her up: Her initial fundraising goal was $100,000, and she ended up netting $1.2 million.
Here’s where things got tricky.
After celebrating her digital victory and recording her album, she got ready to tour and noticed that her touring band lacked string and horn players, so she advertised for local musicians to help her out at each stop. In her own words, these local artisans could “join us for a couple of tunes” and “basically…BE the opening ACT!”
The only problem with this proposal was that she did not intend to pay said musicians—unless you count beer, “merch” and high fives as payment. While some understood this arrangement and had no problem with it, others saw a hustle in action.