About this project
If we finish at $55k or more we'll add a fifth summit in London in the fall.
CASH Music is a nonprofit focused on empowering musicians towards a more sustainable future. We've built a free and open platform that lets artists promote, sell, and distribute their music directly to fans, working with services they already use. We built a platform, now we're building community.
Learn more about us.
Confirmed speakers (so far)
Damon Krukowski (Galaxie 500, Damon and Naomi), Harper Reed (former Chief Technology Officer, Obama for America), David McCreath (Mule Radio), Dan Sinker (OpenNews, Punk Planet, Internet Shenanigans), JD Samson (Le Tigre, MEN), Anil Dash (ThinkUp, Movable Type, The Internet), Dapwell (Das Racist, Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Project), Jonathan Coulton, Mark Surman (Executive Director, Mozilla), Larry Crane (Tape Op), John Roderick (The Long Winters), Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses), Beth Ditto (Gossip), Erin McKeown, Chris Kaskie (President Pitchfork, The Dissolve), Jessica Hopper (Music Editor, Rookie), Ruben Mendez (Hardly Art)
We want to bring expanded summits to different cities across the country. Each stop has an opening party, a summit date where on-stage conversations inspire smaller breakout discussions, and a workshop day open to the public where we focus on collaborative building and helping musicians and developers build things together, hands-on.
The summits will drive online content, foster learning,
and build a community that evolves from diverse perspectives collaborating towards a common goal. And we'll live stream all on-stage stuff for those who can't be there in
We want to build an event that matters to musicians, business, and technologists all at the same time. The party and summit will be available by invitation and ticket only, but the workshop will be open to the public.
We're selling 100 tickets via Kickstarter to each summit to fund the effort, each with VIP access to the opening party in that city. The summit days will max out at 200 people, small enough to still allow candid conversations. The other 100 people will be invited after the Kickstarter so we can ensure a healthy mix of musicians and technologists, and guarantee access regardless of economic situations. Your ticket is transferable, so yes — you can buy a ticket for someone else. We're looking for an engaged group of people to shape these events and this new community.
We're still confirming speakers, but the initial schedule looks like:
CHI (March 1, 2014)
Damon Krukowski (Galaxie 500, Damon and Naomi)
Harper Reed (former Chief Technology Officer, Obama for America)
Dave McCreath (Mule Radio)
Chris Kaskie (President Pitchfork, The Dissolve)
Jessica Hopper (Music Editor, Rookie)
emceed by Dan Sinker (OpenNews, Punk Planet, Internet Shenanigans)
NYC (May 17, 2014)
JD Samson (Le Tigre, MEN)
Anil Dash (ThinkUp, Movable Type, The Internet)
Dapwell (Das Racist, Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Project)
Mark Surman (Executive Director, Mozilla)
emceed by Jonathan Coulton
SEA (August 2014)
Larry Crane (Tape Op)
Ruben Mendez (Hardly Art)
emceed by John Roderick (The Long Winters)
ATL (November 2014)
Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses)
Please help us grow by coming to a summit near you. If you can't make it, please consider another reward level and make these events happen — they'll be shared with the world online.
We want to make the CASH Music summits the cornerstone of our mission, and we're asking for your help in doing that. Add your voice and help build a healthy future for music.
Digital comp: We're putting together a downloadable comp for everyone who gives at least $10. It includes a rare cover by Quasi (Queen's Don't Stop Me Now) and the solo debut from Typhoon's Shannon Rose Steele. Also tracks from No Age, Bleached, Julianna Barwick, Moonface, Jonathan Coulton, Throwing Muses, JD Samson & MEN, of Montreal, and more — and we're just getting started. More info on the way soon.
T-shirts: The shirts will be printed on American Apparel 50/50 blend cotton, gray heather, featuring our main badge logo. (Jackson!) It's a new design for us and a pretty sharp way to show your support.
Pins: Pins are just cool. Little 1" buttons you can put on just about anything and show your support. Added bonus: you'll be reminded of us every time you walk through a metal detector.
Custom badge: There are five different badges featured in the platform — one for each section. Don't ask when or why it happened, but we started using shots of our favorite animal buddies instead of making a real logo. Now we'll make a badge for your favorite animal too. (All are welcome — doesn't have to be a dog. I'm looking at you, Sheldon Turtle!) For $100 we'll make a custom badge image, put it on a supporters page on our site with a link wherever you like, and we'll send you a real 1" pin attached to a little thank-you card. (Plus the high resolution art file so you can get your DIY on.)
Risks and challenges
Events are hard — getting great speakers and setting the right atmosphere takes a lot of work. That said, we've been through it three times now and know how to make all the preparations and improvisations required. We haven't nailed down firm dates in each city, instead committing to specific quarters of 2014. We'll announce dates and speakers as soon as we can.
And custom logos? That's a lot of work, but fun, too. If carving out a week of nothing but looking at pictures of people's pets is what it takes to make this happen we're in. (Plus if you saw our chat windows you'd know that's pretty much part of the day-to-day already...)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We built our platform by listening to and working with musicians. The earliest tools were built to fit a specific need and they grew into a general platform powering download codes, digital sales, email for download promo, and more. Now we see the platform in use by musicians of all sizes and genres, hosted and downloaded, DIY and with the help of developers. It's exciting to see, but we realize that in order grow we need to build community and keep learning from one other.
Community and learning are the keys to it all; for us, the artists we work with, and as a road to longterm sustainability for music. Education, access to information, and learning are as important to new models as the tech that powers them — each feeds off the other.
To that end we started putting on CASH Music summits — bringing musicians and technologists together to share ideas and perspectives. Our first summits happened in Portland (http://cashmusic.org/summit/) and the outcome was extraordinary. (So much so that we did another small summit in Los Angeles: http://cashmusic.org/events/summit/nov16-2013-losangeles/) There were inspiring speakers, insightful conversations, ideas to be implemented in the platform, and ideas that should become educational resources online. It was like seeing our nonprofit mission come alive.
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