Jars of Clay, Fireflight, and More Take to Pledging Tactics

Twenty years ago OJ Simpson ran from police, Richard Nixon passed away, and Jars of Clay began making music together. Five years later, in 1999, Fireflight formed their band in Eustis, Florida. Two bands, formed in the ’90s, growing in popularity and honoring Christ in their music. And now, one more thing can be added to their list of similarities: Recently, they’ve both taken to using fan-funded tactics via PledgeMusic.

They certainly aren’t the only Christian bands collaborating with the site, and they won’t be the last. But Jars of Clay and Fireflight are perhaps the most recognizable, and therefore, their involvement in this site has caused the CCM industry to take note.

So what does this teaming up with the site mean for fans? Well, it means greater involvement between the bands and the people who love their music. But primarily, it means fans can get more for their money from the bands: whether that’s in the form of exclusive Web content, signed copies of albums, T-shirts, or band-centric experiences.

Pledges for Jars of Clay range from $15 (which gets you 20 fan-curated songs, plus a vote regarding which 20 songs will be put on their new album) to a massive $20,000. Now 20 grand may seem like a lot, and it is, but take a look at what that gets you: an acoustic concert in your home by the band. The mutually agreed upon concert location doesn’t necessarily have to be on your home, but it’s pretty cool that it can be. Also, the location needs to be at least 50 miles from a major airport and is only available in the U.S. Fireflight has a similar deal for $5,500 for a concert of your choosing (though they don’t mention playing at anyone’s home). This highlights the kinds of experiences you can get just by pledging money—no need to deal with the bureaucratic hassles of record companies like in the days of old.

And with Jars of Clay, 10% of all the proceeds received via the site go to the Blood:Water Mission, a decade-old nonprofit and “grassroots organization that empowers communities to work together against the HIV/AIDS and water crises in Africa.”

This connection with the fans via pledging certainly doesn’t negate the importance of connecting with their customers via tours. Tours are still a big (if not the biggest) part of what bands do in terms of collecting revenue and establishing lasting bonds with their fans. And fortunately, both bands are playing throughout the summer.

So for your convenience, here are Fireflight’s summer tour dates:

May 17: Lakeside Worship Center Elizabethtown, KY
Jun 18: Alive Festival, Mineral City, OH
Jun 21: Big Ticket Festival, Gaylord, MI
Jun 28: East to West Shediac, Canada Tickets
Aug 3: Gig It Music Festival, Morristown, TN
Aug 16: Off The Charts Music Festival, Cavalier, ND

And for Jars of Clay:

May 2: Christ the King, Tampa, FL
May 3: Musician’s Corner, Nashville, TN
Jun 18: Park Theatre, Holland, MI
Jun 19: Big Ticket, Gaylord, MI
Jun 21: C2G Music Hall, Fort Wayne, IN
Jul 18: Elevate Festival, Boise, ID
Jul 19: Basin Summer Sounds, Ephrata, WA
Aug 3: The Waterside Theatre, Manteo, NC
Aug 31: Joshua Fest, Quincy, CA
Sep 10: Spokane County Interstate Fair, Spokane, WA

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