About this project
WHO WE ARE:
The Ragbirds are a high-energy, Nationally-touring folk-rock band with world music influence and a heart for the environment. Since 2006 we have performed in 46 states, averaging nearly 200 shows a year on the road. Led by multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Erin Zindle, the band includes Erin's husband Randall Moore on percussion, her brother TJ Zindle on guitar, Loren Kranz on drumset and Brennan Andes on bass. At the launch of this campaign, Erin is 36 weeks pregnant, expecting her first baby on August 20th!
With this new addition to our family we are outgrowing the vegetable oil powered van (Cecelia) that we have toured in for the last 5 years. She has been good to us but with over 340,000 miles, she is ready to be retired.
THE "BRAVE NEW BABY" TOUR:
For the last few years we have regularly made our way across the country to share our music. After taking a long maternity break this late summer/early fall we plan to ease back into traveling with the baby and a friend who will serve as our "road nanny" through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Tennesee, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. We're calling it the "Brave New Baby" Tour, inspired by our song "Brave New Beat".
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR:
We are looking to buy a Diesel bus, RV, or Sprinter, preferably 2003 or newer, with low mileage. We need a larger, more reliable and safe vehicle to accommodate at least 5 band members, a "road nanny" and the baby bird. It must be diesel so we can continue to run on environmentally friendly Waste Vegetable Oil.
SUSTAINABLE VEGGIE TRAVEL:
We have always tried to be conscious of how our touring effects the environment. Now, with a baby on the way, our commitment to touring green is stronger than ever, so our child can enjoy a cleaner, safer planet. In the past five years we have driven over 200,000 miles using WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil) for fuel, and have offset our carbon footprint by nearly 100 metric tons of carbon, DRAMATICALLY lowering our footprint on the environment.
Our plan is to continue to travel on Waste Vegetable Oil, as it has proven to be a sustainable way of touring for us. For more information on how we tour using WVO for fuel, click here.
WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
We have lots of love and exciting new music to share, we have a "road nanny" who is ready to travel with us, we have big plans, and a fall tour that's already booked. The only missing piece is a new set of wheels to get us there. In order to continue touring as our lives shift in this monumental way, we are appealing to all of our fans, friends, loved ones and supporters to help us get to the next phase of our journey.
In addition to bringing us into contact with our fans, touring is also an essential part of our creative process. We will be "road testing" new material on this fall tour with the intention of developing the songs to create a new studio album.
You can help us get there by jumping in on this project. Your support means so much to us!
(for more information about the band, visit www.theragbirds.com)
Erin's "Flower of the Month" club (see $200 level) is just one example of the many creative rewards we have set up for backing this project. We've pooled all our talents and resources to come up with unique services, merchandise, art, crafts and music to offer you in exchange for your support.
Every backer at any level will get a Personal Thank You Email & Shoutout on Facebook and Twitter. You will also get a breaking-news-update email when the baby arrives! : )
Risks and challenges
Planning, booking, and implementing national tours are complicated affairs which require a lot of pieces to fall into place. Many things can go wrong. Add a baby into the mix and the challenges may be hard for us to even predict. But we are road-warriors, who have faced and overcame so many obstacles as they have inevitably arrived. In all humility, and recognizing this as a brand new experience for us, we still feel confident that we can make a touring lifestyle work in a way that is healthy and harmonious for all involved.
Another challenge is to find just the right vehicle. There are many requirements that this new bus has to fill: it needs to be safe, reliable, have low-mileage, able to be converted to waste vegetable oil, built within the last 10 years with space enough for at least 6 adults and a baby.
We have been researching for months and are still currently in search of the perfect fit. From all our calculations, we estimate that we will need at least $20,000 (and likely a lot more) to get what we need. We have seen diesel RVs and converted buses for less – and trust us, we have considered them. But the age, mileage and condition of these cheaper vehicles has turned us away with red flags. If we’re going to do this we want to do it right, not leave our family stranded on the side of the road, or stuck with constant repair bills. We need to find safe and reliable to take us to the next stage of our journey.
We know that it can be more difficult to run on veggie oil in a larger vehicle, but are committed to research, experimentation and hard work to maintain this system for our future travels. While a lot of bands we know have dabbled in veggie-powered travel only to give up when it got hard, we have been faithful to it for nearly 5 years and our hard work has paid off in financial savings and more importantly, in the peace of mind that comes from knowing we have done what we can to be environmentally conscious.
We believe that with your help to fund it and our team to hunt for it we can find exactly what we are looking for!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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