Red Jumpsuit Apparatus is a rock band that plays angst-y, guitar-heavy songs that, a decade ago, would’ve probably been called emo. They’re by no means famous, but the group has landed songs in a few movie and video-game soundtracks, scored a deal with Virgin Records, and even have a couple of minor Billboard hits. But the band from Middleburg, Fla., is even more successful halfway around the world.
“We’ve had multiple successful singles in Australia and New Zealand, but it’s a hard market to tour,” says Ronnie Winter, the band’s lead singer. “We try, but it’s so expensive.” This year, though, they’ve figured out a way. In November, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus will play six shows in Australia with the help of a website called GiggedIn, a Sydney-based platform that allows bands to crowdfund their concerts.
GiggedIn works like this: A musical act offers to hold a concert, and fans prepay for tickets. If enough tickets sell, the concert is on. If not, the show is cancelled, and fans aren’t charged anything. It sounds a lot like Kickstarter because it is. “Kickstarter was a very successful model, and I wanted to see if you can apply the same principles to concerts,” says GiggedIn’s founder, Edwin Onggo. So far the answer seems to be yes. Onggo launched the site last fall, and so far, at least 500 bands have sign up. Most shows funded through GiggedIn are smaller ones, with audiences ranging from 50 to 500 people. Four street buskers even used it to host their first professional concert, attracting 150 people to a small venue in Sydney.