The Weekend Australian - Review
FROM THE EDITOR
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.