Hey, friends. We’re going to try to keep this as concise as possible, for the sake of our time and your own.
The future of The Brian Shields Memorial Tour Fund is that there is no future for it. As you may have noticed, The Brian Shields Memorial Tour Fund hasn’t been particularly active. Zach Dresher from Wings Denied and myself tried really hard to make something of the Tour Fund. Alongside our selection committee, which includes Sacha Dunable from Intronaut, Jordan Eberhardt from The Contortionist, and many other prolific names within our community, we did our best to assemble a growing pool of money for unsigned, up-and-coming bands to borrow from to get them on the road.
We didn’t make it. We never met our initial goal of $6,500. After our Indiegogo perks were fulfilled—all through creation, printing, and shipping—we were left with a hair under $1,800. Our original intention was to provide $850 to two bands (with a small amount of money left over just in case of emergencies) to help them go on a small tour, but when we were expecting more submissions than the three we received. Abhorrent Deformity, Hemotoxin, and From Another Planet were our only entrants and, thus, our three finalists to receive funds, but complications arose when the former two mentioned they were tied to industry professionals. Our aim was to help completely independent acts, leaving From Another Planet as the sole receiver of the funds.
When we had hammered out the details with From Another Planet, they were already on tour in early September 2015. Luckily, it meant them passing through a place we could get the contract signed. We collectively agreed to allow them use of the funds on their tour at the time as a safety net (which they did not use) and they would have the money to tour again before the year was out if they so chose. They did not tour again in 2015, which was plenty understandable.
As many of you realize, we did not run another Indiegogo campaign in 2016, largely because Zach and I questioned the viability of the project. This was and is an overwhelming project to undertake and we felt the reception did not merit going further down this path.
As of now, all the money we collected, aside from the money used for perk fulfillment, remains untouched across a savings account and a PayPal account. In total, there is $1,771.76. We’ve been lucky to accrue some interest thanks to the savings account, as well. None of the money has gone to anything other than Memorial Tour Fund-related costs.
Which leads us to this point: What do we do with the money?
The selection committee discussed the best use of the funds, but we decided to leave its fate to the community which helped us get this far. We came up with two possibilities to best put the money to work.
1. We give the money to one up-and-coming artist.
All of it. Every penny. The only stipulations here are that they must be an independent artist, that is, currently free from labels and booking agents, and they must use the money for furthering their music career. Whether that means using the money to go on tour, paying someone to mix/master their first record, or even using that money to hire a booking agent to books shows for a tour, it must be used for their music.
2. We donate the money to a music education organization.
This one is pretty straightforward. Zach and I have been in the process of researching a few music education organizations across North America that may be worthy recipients of the money. We would make the donation in Brian’s name, of course. Some organizations we’ve tossed around include All-Stars Project, Inc., Young Musicians Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, and VH1’s Save the Music Foundation. We are certainly welcome to hearing more ideas.
Please use the form below to cast your vote. Tell your friends. Share this on your social media accounts. We really need as much input as possible on this. Please.
Voting closes on November 30th, 2016 at 11:59 EST. Please make sure to take a few minutes to decide where the money should go. Thank you for your time, friends.