Burning Man is a huge arts festival in the desert in Northern Nevada which happens every year the week before Labor Day. This year there will be over 70,000 people at Burning Man, and there are hundreds of camps playing all kinds of electronic music, but guess what’s missing? Bluegrass Music, I want to change that.
I’ve been involved in many bands and for twenty years and I have played Bluegrass in over fifty countries. I was once talking to Bill Monroe, the father of Bluegrass Music, and I told him that my main thing was taking Bluegrass to places it had never been. His comment was “Mister, Bluegrass music is the best music in the world, and I want you to take it to as many places as you can.” I took that to heart, you can’t really ignore Bill Monroe.
There are smaller regional “burn” events that happen all over the country. I enjoy burns and the burner community, but the typical music doesn’t appeal to me at all, it’s all DJ’s and electronic music, rarely any live music and no Bluegrass Music at all. Four years ago some of us put together a burn themecamp which brought Bluegrass to the burns. There are very few actual Bluegrass musicians in the burn world, but I was able to convert some great Bluegrass musicians to burners. This resulted in us forming Rootpile, the only Bluegrass Burner band in existence today. Our members are all tried and true burners and great pickers and singers.
In order to get our band to Burning Man we need to raise money. The costs are quite high, $400 just for a ticket, camp dues to cover camping for a week in the middle of the desert and of course travel, it’s 2500 miles from us. So that we have the highest impact I am building a portable stage that is a giant banjo pulled by an approved Burning Man Mutant Vehicle. We’ll have five musicians, two support persons and at a cost of about $1000 per person, you see why we are on kickstarter!
As far as budget, it will be about $1000 per person and we will have two vehicles going 5,000 miles round trip, fuel and travel expenses will be probably at least another $3000 to $5000 for the trip, and of course none of this covers five professional musicians losing nearly two weeks of work, but we aren’t asking for money for that. This is a mission to bring live Bluegrass somewhere it’s never been, and we are committed to that. So you can see that we are looking at over a $10,000 cost to our mission, but we’ll set the kickstarter goal at $3500, of course we can go over. If a guy can raise $60,000 to make potato salad then surely we can raise the money to take the “greatest music in the world” to Burning Man!!! Thanks for helping us out!
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges associated with this project mainly relate to lack of funding. Andy and a small contingent of the Rootpile themecamp are going no matter what, but getting the funding asap to cover tickets and expenses for the other musicians are critical to us pulling this project off. The stage trailer, a giant banjo, is being built and will be ready in time, fuel to get it there will be a challenge without funding.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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