Innovation That Matters

Prefunded, crowdmanaged music festival

Publishing & Media

We’ve already written about a number of efforts to crowdfund and crowdmanage music bands, and now in Scotland a crowdmanaged music festival is in the works that was prefunded by a local brand. Last week Tennent’s Lager launched Tennent’s Mutual, a new music venture that will ultimately result in a live music festival this fall in which fans select artists, debate locations for gigs and call the shots on ticket prices. To kick off the effort, Tennent’s created a start-up fund of GBP 150,000. Fans who sign up before June 30th will be given founder member status and the right to vote on the “who, what, why, where?” of all decisions as to how that start-up money is invested. Counsel will be provided by the Rolling Stones’ Andrew Loog Oldham, Babyshambles’ Drew McConnell, journalist and broadcaster Keith Cameron, former Scots chart-topper Ken McCluskey and local musicians Stewart Henderson of Chemikal Underground and Johnny Lynch of The Fence Collective. Tennent’s Mutual is a not-for-profit enterprise, and no booking fees will be charged for shows. Ticket income, meanwhile, will be ploughed back into the central fund, creating a self-generating amount that will grow and continue to create yet more live events. Chemikal Underground’s Stewart Henderson puts it nicely: “Generally speaking music has gone digital and you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. This is a total watershed time that we’re living in at the moment. It will change things completely—irreversibly. What Tennent’s has done is they’ve effectively set themselves up as patrons. It’s a positive thing as it allows things to happen that may not have otherwise.” As fans and customers claim increasing control in the music industry and beyond, it’s a smart brand that will jump to the forefront with funds and a supporting model. Imagine the transformation in Microsoft’s image if it ponied up the funds and let users decide how they were spent! It’s just a matter of time before this comes to other countries and other industries; who else will stand up and be an early leader? Spotted by: Lyuba Stevasarova



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