The Weekend Australian - Review

FROM THE EDITOR

- TIM DOUGLAS

At Tasmania’s Mona Foma summer festival last year, just before COVID-19 began spreading around the globe, American singer-songwriter Amanda Palmer sat quietly in a timberline­d box in Launceston’s City Park. Outside, queues of people waited for hours for a chance to take part in her Confession­al, a project wherein punters could divulge to the musician their deepest, darkest secrets. The confession­s were compiled into a song Palmer wrote and performed on her final night at the festival. The project was, as Palmer argued, the purest form of art — songs of the audience, by the audience and for the people. If there’s one thing Palmer has always valued it is her audience. That’s partly because she is financiall­y supported by her fans, who fund her practice in a subscripti­on-based system on online platform Patreon. Circumvent­ing the giant streaming services, Palmer has shown the way when it comes to crowd-funding. But the practice isn’t limited to overseas artists, and as Andrew McMillen writes, Patreon is a growing business model for musicians here. But is it sustainabl­e? McMillen’s excellent piece is on pages 6-7.

review@theaustral­ian.com.au

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