Eye Heart SF, the group that's put on events like last year's Wintersalt music festival, is hoping to bring Summersalt, its warm-weather festival, back to S.F. this year. But with a twist: The plan is to get fans to help put on what they say will be the first-ever crowdfunded music festival.
It's an ambitious idea, especially without announcing a lineup or a venue for the Sept. 14 event. Organizer Anthony Black says he has a spot in mind that will allow for a block party-style festival, and is in talks with performers. The $15,000 he's hoping to raise on the Crowdtilt site before the end of the month won't cover all the production costs, but it will be a crucial boost to the effort. After launching on Thursday morning, the effort has already raised over $5,000 -- nearly one-third of the way toward its goal.
The last Summersalt festival, in 2010, brought artists like Warren G., the Rapture, Zion-I, and K. Flay to Fort Mason Center. Last year's Wintersalt festival saw names like Diplo, DJ Shadow, and Zedd perform over two days in the city.
Black says the crowdfunding effort, run through a site called Crowdtilt, is a good way to determine people's interest.
"We're putting it out there, we're seeing if there's a demand," Black says. "It gives us the ability to get people excited early, and to [share] the prospect of it not happening unless they're supporting it."
If the funding goal isn't reached by deadline, Black will either decide to put on the event the usual way, or abandon it.
Donation amounts range from $5 for a "Virtual High-Five" to $500 for the "Best Friends Forever" package, which goes beyond VIP with all-access badges and other perks. A $15 donation covers an early bird ticket to the festival. And if the fundraising goal isn't met, no one is charged for their pledges, of course.
Black said that while smaller crowdfunded concerts are common, this appears to be the first time someone's tried to use the method for a multi-act music festival. "No one has really done an event of this scale with the overall goal of drawing out 2,000 to 3,000 people" with crowdfunding, he says.