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FAQ

  • What is Closeup.fm?
    Closeup is live music reinvented for a world hungry for authenticity. The Closeup.fm app enables you to work directly with your loyal fans to book shows in living rooms and backyards around the world. Imagine if you could use the crowdfunding capabilities of Kickstarter to sell out the cool, private spaces of Airbnb. That’s what Closeup can help you do over and over again. Most of us have heard it our whole lives: "You can't earn a living playing music.” Closeup is changing that. We’re making it easy to bring people together.
  • What is the big vision?
    Closeup is part of a movement. A number visionaries, entrepreneurs, and good-hearted people are rethinking live music. We’re simply taking booking shows several steps further and turning the tour launch into a game. We’re creating a network of unofficial music venues today that will be home to tomorrow’s best artists. The Closeup.fm app helps bands connect the dots, from house to house, city to city. Over time Closeup will come to represent the world’s first decentralized network of band-to-fan venues. Awesome.
  • Why should you give a flip about Closeup.fm?
    These days, it’s really hard to earn a living playing music unless you have tribe of super fans who buy everything you create and help spread the word. Now that anyone can stream your music for free, your band’s long-term financial viability depends upon people who love to evangelize on your behalf. Closeup gives you a way to convert casual Spotify listeners into super fans and make your super fans fall in love all over again: up-close-and-personal experiences.
  • How does Closeup.fm work?
    1. You take two minutes to set up a band profile on closeup.fm.
    2. You pick your desired cities and dates and launch a tour.
    3. You tell your fans about the new tour on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
    4. Your most loyal fans volunteer to host the show.
    5. Aspiring hosts in the same city compete against each other by rallying their friends to pledge a Ticket.
    6. The first aspiring host to get the minimum number of donations wins the show.
    7. The winner works out all details for the night with you.
    8. You go on tour.
    9. A couple of days before the show, the host discloses the secret location to all of the winning fans.
    10. You show up and help to create a beautiful night.
    11. Rinse and repeat.
  • How does Closeup.fm pull in super fans?
    You tell your fans that you’re planning a new tour, and you invite them to sign up to be hosts in your selected cities. The aspiring hosts then compete against one other to find free venues, rally their friends, lock in the minimum number of donations, and “win” the show. The winner becomes the host, finalizes the show details with the band, and helps turn the show into something beautiful. Your loyal fans are eager to make memories with you. Closeup.fm simply makes it so that their monetary support goes directly into your pocket. You can even create special merch packages to sell in advance.
  • Why does pulling in super fans work?
    Your super fans—which make up roughly 3-5% of your total fan base—have a lot of friends. Most of these “friends of friends” don’t give your band any financial support. But they like parties and don’t want to miss out on something cool. And when your music is the party’s organizing principle, you get their undivided attention, something that never happens on Spotify. If you can create an up-close-and-personal experience for them, then you can convert listeners into super fans. Think of it this way: your band is only one night away from earning lifelong supporters in cities around the globe.
  • Where does Closeup "live"?
    Closeup.fm is a web app. It lives in the cloud like a winged unicorn, not on your desktop, and works seamlessly with your mobile devices, thanks to fully responsive design.
  • How much does it cost?
    It’s free to set up a closeup.fm profile, and bands received 90% of their profits. The remaining 10% goes to keeping Closeup.fm alive and kicking. Within 18 months, we hope the movement grows so that we can pass on all operating costs to fans and begin paying bands 100%.
  • How does Closeup handle the money that comes in?
    Closeup has a nifty set-up with Stripe payments that charges only the people who pledge Tickets and merchandise packages to the winning host. No one else gets charged. We release half of the money to the band when the tour campaign ends, and the rest after the band completes the tour.
  • How much money can you make playing Closeup shows?
    We’ll do the math for you. It’s pretty cool.
    Consider the following scenario:

    • Let’s say your band has 4 members.
    • You average 9 shows per month.
    • Ticket donations at these shows average 50 people at $20/person.
    • And you sell, on average, $200 worth of merch per show.
    • Each show grosses a total of $1200.
    • The host or other fans provides dinner and lodging each night.
    • 
You average 250 miles of driving per city at 25mpg and $3.50/gallon.
    • 
Each band member gets a $25 per diem for breakfast, lunch, and coffee.
    • 
Closeup.fm charge a 10% fee to cover costs.
    You actually don’t need 5,400 super fans at 108 shows. You need only 1,080 real fans, or 10-12 real fans in each city.
 If each of these fans brings 4 friends, you have a sold-out show with 50 people.



    So how much would you make?

    $104,220 in one year divided among your band members. Not bad, right?

Oh, and now your real fan base has potentially grown from 1,080 to 5,400. And the more shows you play, the more money you make.
  • Does Closeup.fm support benefit concerts?
    Yes. The "charitable arm" of the Closeup.fm web app uses a raffle-style contest—in a way that is 100% legal, we might add—to raise money for charity. Artists with the desire to give back can “spend their celebrity” in the form of exclusive shows to raise money for charity. The Closeup team handles all of the logistics.

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  • Are Tickets refundable?
    Right now, the answer is yes. But this is a tough one. We understand that life can get crazy, and priorities can shift. We want to be realistic about that, but we also want to take really good care of artists. We want to pay them well for what they do, and support them any way they can. It's best to view your Ticket as a donation, and to ask for it back only under extreme circumstances. For people to ask for a refund simply because they forgot about the show (or went to a different party) isn't fair to the band. Let's agree to put the artists first, cool?
  • What is closeup.fm?
    Think "airbnb-meets-kickstarter" for exclusive concerts with your friends and favorite musicians. Closeup.fm is a web app that makes it easy for musicians to do direct-to-fan touring. You can help the bands and solo artists by finding a free venue in your town and either hosting or attending an up-close-and-personal concert in a living room, backyard, loft apartment, or art gallery!
  • How does it work?
    Bands pick the cities and dates they want to play. They choose a host in each city or open dates up for fans to host. Aspiring hosts compete against one another to lock in the minimum number of Tickets, and the host that does it first wins the show. The winning host then communicates directly with the band in the Closeup.fm dashboard to work out the logistics and finalize details. Then, the musicians show up and play an amazing show. Magic.
  • How much does it cost?
    When a musician sets up a tour in her Closeup.fm dashboard, she sets the Ticket price for each show. She can also choose the pay-want-you-want option to give fans the freedom to be even more generous. Closeup accounts are free for bands, hosts, and fans, and fans also don't have to pay anything to host. Closeup only makes money when musicians actually play shows. The 10% of the gross that we take covers credit card transaction fees and our own operating costs. We hope to soon give musicians 100% of the gross profits!
  • Is it safe?
    Yes. If the Airbnb model has taught us anything, it has taught us that more often than not we can trust strangers. And if we expect the best out of people, that's most often what we get. That being said, a Closeup show usually involves the band, the host, and the host's friends. A Closeup show is a party, and as with any party, the host has the authority to tell guests to have fun, to respect the space, and to be generous to the musicians. Even if a show is "public," people will probably be on their best behavior, and the host always has the right to tell an unruly fan to leave.
  • What if the band doesn't show up?
    Obviously, musicians need to keep their fans happy, so in the unlikely event that a band doesn't show up, the vast majority of them will reschedule the show as soon as possible. If the artists totally flake out, Closeup with refund everyone's money.
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