Summing it up better than anyone yet, Amanda Palmer herself has spoken out on her blog about the drama surrounding her tour volunteers. In her post, she discusses how crowdsourcing, performing for free/at a loss, and making art for the experience alone have all made up a big part of her own career as a musician and performer. She also touches upon the nuances of who gets paid and who doesn't in her band--while the touring Grand Theft Orchestra obviously gets a salary, a few transient horn and string players apparently come away with cash too, depending on which city they're playing. But ultimately, Palmer asserts that she's supporting the freedom of musicians to choose how, when, where, and for how much they practice their craft.
YOU HAVE TO LET ARTISTS MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS ABOUT HOW THEY SHARE THEIR TALENT AND TIME.
especially in this day and age, it’s becoming more and more essential that artists allow each other space to figure out their own systems.
the minute YOU make black and white rules about how other artists should value their own art and time, you disempower them.
anyone is allowed to crowdfund a record. and anyone is allowed to crowdsource a musician. or a pair of socks. or a place to crash. or a meal. anyone. the band at the local pub can do it, i can do it, tom waits can do it, and justin bieber can do it (his fans would FLIP to be up on that stage making music with him. i’m imagining a crowdsourced belieber playing violin on “boyfriend” right now and loving the image, truly. it’s also fun to think of tom waits wearing fan-knit-socks.)
i could ramble on about my million-dollar Kickstarter and where that million dollars actually went (actually, i already did that, in a blog over here)…and i could tell you that i wish i had enough money to hire a second tour bus and put eight full-time musicians on salaries. but the funny thing is: i actually don’t. i don’t wish that. not right now.
because this isn’t about money. for me, this is about freedom. and about choices.