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With a new baby on the way, an old van on the way out, and a tour planned, we need a new vehicle to get us there in a safe, green way.
With a new baby on the way, an old van on the way out, and a tour planned, we need a new vehicle to get us there in a safe, green way.
223 backers pledged $25,553 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$25,553

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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)

REWARDS

Autographed stand-up paddleboard courtesy of our friends at Green Veil Outdoor
Autographed stand-up paddleboard courtesy of our friends at Green Veil Outdoor
Erin sporting one of her handmade Eclips (photo by Emily Belanger)
Erin sporting one of her handmade Eclips (photo by Emily Belanger)

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! : )

Handmade Shekere by Randall Moore
Handmade Shekere by Randall Moore
An example of a djembe drum that Randall built (see $450 level)
An example of a djembe drum that Randall built (see $450 level)
Our Exclusive Kickstarter T-Shirt will look something like this.  White ink printed on a navy American Apparel T-shirt
Our Exclusive Kickstarter T-Shirt will look something like this. White ink printed on a navy American Apparel T-shirt

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!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    THANK YOU! Every dollar helps! Social media shout out! Plus you'll get an email news announcement when the baby is born!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Digital download of our new Live album, We Belong to The Love, plus a new Ragbirds "We Belong To The Love" Sticker

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    37 backers
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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Autographed Tour Poster or Band photo (with the baby!), New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker, and a Personalized Postcard from the road on our "Brave New Baby" Tour!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Digital download of any album from our catalog (choose from 4 Studio Albums, our Live Album or Erin's Solo record), New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker, and a Personalized Postcard from the road on our "Brave New Baby" Tour!

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    13 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Autographed CD of your choice (any album from our catalog), New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker, and a Personalized Postcard from the road on our "Brave New Baby" Tour!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    "Brave New Baby Tour" ONESIE!!! (Sizes 0-6, 6-12, 12-18, 18-24) and a New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Autographed CD of your choice (any album from our catalog), an Autographed Tour Poster or Band photo (with the baby!), New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker, and a Personalized Postcard from the road on our "Brave New Baby" Tour!

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    19 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Exclusive, Limited Edition Ragbirds T-shirt (unique artwork digitally printed on an American Apparel tee), Autographed Tour Poster or Band photo (with the baby!), and a New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Hand Crafted Shekere (made by Randall) A beautiful hand-beaded large gourd which is used as a traditional African percussion instrument. (a one-of-a-kind, musical work of art, you pick the bead colors and Randall will custom design it!), New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker

    (see picture to the left)

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    Reward no longer available 7 backers
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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    RAGBIRDS Bandana BOX SET! All 4 studio albums, our Live CD plus Erin’s solo album wrapped in a Ragbirds Bandana, with 2 logo pins, our logo sticker and a New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    2 VIP PARTY Tickets (Private, invite-only Ragbirds Show in the Southeast Michigan area with refreshments, meet and greet, tour of OUR NEW BUS, and lots of surprises! Date and location TBA), Autographed Tour Poster or Band photo (with the baby!), and a New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker

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    17 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    2 VIP PARTY Tickets (see $100 level), Exclusive, Limited-Edition Ragbirds T-shirt (see $50 level), Autographed Tour Poster or Band photo (with the baby!), and a New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    “Flower of the month club”- For one year (Aug 2013-Aug 2014), each month you will get a new, unique Eclip made just for you. Eclips are flower hair clips with antique buttons, handmade by Erin. You'll get 12 large stunning "EClips" in all! You can make custom requests or just be surprised! Plus a New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker

    (see picture of Erin wearing an "EClip" to the left)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Private lesson from the band member of your choice (on any instrument we play) when we come to your town on tour (or via Skype) We can teach you how to play our songs, work on technique, or just jam together!! Exclusive, Limited Edition Ragbirds T-shirt (see $50 level) + 2 VIP PARTY Tickets (see $100 level) and a New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    “Patron of the Arts” – commemorative portrait of you or someone you love on the ceiling of OUR NEW BUS, Exclusive, Limited Edition Ragbirds T-shirt (see $50 level) 2 VIP PARTY Tickets (see $100 level), and a New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    $400 + YOU CALL THE COVER - Ever think to yourself, "The Ragbirds would sound so good doing this song!!!" Well, now's your chance!!!! The Ragbirds will learn the cover song of your choice and play it live at the VIP PARTY! Exclusive, Limited Edition Ragbirds T-shirt (see $50 level) + 2 VIP PARTY Tickets (see $100 level) and a New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    Professional Custom Djembe drum, built by The Ragbirds percussionist, Randall Moore of Woodspeak Drums (www.woodspeakdrums.com)
    You pick the rope color and Randall will custom build you a pro quality djembe using the finest rope, skin, and hand carved drum shell from Ivory Coast or Mali.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Private Concert via StageIT.com (Live and private interactive online concert, just for you. You can request songs, chat during the show, ask us questions. Invite your friends to your house to enjoy the show together!), Exclusive, Limited Edition Ragbirds T-shirt (see $50 level) 2 VIP PARTY Tickets (see $100 level) and a New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    Personalized song, written by Erin. (You provide the storyline and direction, Erin will write the song, record a simple demo and send you a digital download, burned CD, chord chart and lyrics) Plus you’ll get 2 VIP PARTY Tickets (see $100 level) and a New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker (note: for professional recording of the song, see $800 level)

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    Pledge $650 or more About $650

    VIP "Brave New Baby" Tour Package!! You and 1 guest will be picked up IN OUR NEW BUS, and will join the band from the time we arrive at the show to when the show is over. (We'll schedule this according to our tour dates). You will get an inside look at setup, sound check, and a day in the life of The Ragbirds. This also includes a private, backstage acoustic performance of 1 song that you choose. You’ll also get an Autographed Tour Poster or Band photo (with the baby!), 2 VIP PARTY TICKETS (see $100 level), an autographed copy of our live CD and a New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker

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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    Personalized song, written by Erin and professionally recorded (You provide the storyline and direction, Erin will write the song, have it professionally recorded, mixed & mastered. You will get a digital download, burned CD, chord chart and lyrics). Plus you’ll get 2 VIP PARTY Tickets (see $100 level) and a New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Workshop/group lesson with you and your family and friends with Randall, Erin and whichever band members are available (African drumming, Songwriting, Drum Circle, Sustainable Touring, etc - (Subject to location and tour dates, contact us to discuss) 2 VIP PARTY Tickets (see $100 level) and a New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Acoustic House Concert (Live and in person) for you and up to 20 guests (Subject to location and tour dates, contact us to discuss), 2 VIP PARTY Tickets (see $100 level) and a New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    A Ragbirds autographed stand-up paddleboard package and two tickets to Tip of the Mitt Paddle Fest on 9/7 at Aloha State Park in Cheboygan, MI with our friends The Crane Wives, Whiskey Shivers, and more!

    Courtesy of Michigan based Green Veil Outdoor

    Package includes: paddleboard, leash, paddle, and travel bag.
    Delivery Spring of 2014

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Full scale Ragbirds concert live and loud in your backyard or location of your choice. (Subject to location and tour dates, contact us to discuss) Unlimited guest list for all your friends and family to attend for an unforgettable show! + 2 VIP PARTY TICKETS (see $100 level) and a New Ragbirds “We Belong To The Love” Sticker

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Funding period

- (25 days)