Monday, May 16, 2011

THANK YOU. Some words following a successful Indiegogo campaign...

I would like to thank you, again.

Indiegogo and Kickstarter were brought to my attention. I didn't use Indiegogo because I didn't have faith it would get funded. Kickstarter told me I could not donate 100% of the funds above the goal to CHIRP RADIO. Simple as that. People told me I should do it. I was a little apprehensive, so I asked around. I asked Rebecca from Tyler Jon Tyler. She said "GO FOR IT!" so I asked her if her band would play a show. She said yes. Tyler Jon Tyler is not only one of my favorite Chicago bands, but one of my favorite bands in general. I'm a sucker for pop-hooks, and their minimal approach just hits me in the right way.

So, if I could get one of my favorite bands to play, why not three? I asked my friends Close Hits and Magic Milk too, they all shared similar shit-eating grins, and said yes immediately.

So began the windfall of support that lead to a rabid victory.

Lincoln Hall, Schubas, Hideout, Reggies Rock Club, the CEO of Threadless!...

Every single person that I asked for help said yes. They did so without elbowing. They did so with grins and hugs. High fives.

So, I closed my eyes, and hit the launch button. Upon pacing my house for the first 48 hours, I was blown away to have hundreds of dollars in donations within the first few days. I slept very little. I then went on tour with Tyler Jon Tyler, an exhausting, amazing endeavor that had me sleeping even less. I tried to do live, or even daily updates, and was unsuccessful. It's amazing in cities with wi-fi everywhere, how difficult it is to actually sit down and collect yourself for an hour while on the road.

I also did not expect such kind words, and arm-open support for major media outlets :

One Kind Radio - Having covered local music from Chicago for over 20 years with One Kind Radio and know how hard it was to cover a handful of shows a month for the site…. I have yet to find a person more dedicated to covering the Chicago music scene than John Yingling.

The Vinyl District - "As you hopefully already know, Chicago has been blessed with one the most active and exciting independent music scenes in the world. John Yingling, the man behind Gonzo Chicago, has taken it upon himself to document our vibrant scene, filming nearly 500 performances over the last four years."

Gossip Wolf "Four years ago blogger and filmmaker JOHN YINGLING, who runs the site GONZO CHICAGO, moved here from Appleton, Wisconsin, because he was so in love with our ol' music scene...all donors get free admission to a summer show with TYLER JON TYLER, CLOSE HITS, and MAGIC MILK...."

Chicago Reader "I'm generally a little wary of people going online to beg for money, but having seen Yingling at a genuinely impressive number of shows over the past year or so, filming and generally just going completely buck, I feel all right vouching for the guy"

Onion A.V. Club "Videographer John Yingling started Gonzo Chicago with a simple mission: to bring fans closer to their favorite bands with in-depth pics, videos, and interviews"

Chicago Garage We all know what a great music scene we have here in Chicago. Every weekend there’s multiple quality shows to choose from at multiple quality venues. This is not just because of the musicians who entertain us, but also because of the people who tirelessly cover the scene for little or no pay (in many cases, at a cost to them.) One such person is John Yingling. John’s been documenting Chicago’s music scene for 3 years with his own shoddy equipment, and he needs your help to give these great bands the exposure they need.

Loud Loop Press embedded the WIDGET on the side of their own site!!!

...countless others showed support.

One thing I didn't really mention, is that I had a TERRIBLE cold while doing this video! I was already a week behind, so I had to do it! I put that stupid "Hackers" quote in the end there, but I really meant it. I needed an army, and an army was what I got.

Such vehemently kind words still have me giddy this morning, and it's really tough to convey in words just how much this all means to me.

If one needs proof of how spectacular a city Chicago is, I really think you can just look at this campaign.

People told me I should throw a benefit show. I was leaving on tour in a week and a half. I called Robby at Reggie's Live, and asked him if he was into it. He immediately agreed to host a show in his record store, Record Breakers.

So I asked some dear friends Alejandro Morales, Nicole Miller (of Piss Piss Piss, Moan Moan Moan) Dan Rico, and Ian Wiznieski (of Snacks / Close Hits) if they could play. They both, seriously, said "HELL YES"

Later the next day, I asked Alejandro if he knew of one or two more bands that could play. He said "Homie, let me make a phone call". Later that night, at a show at Drone City, he came up to me and said "Lechuguillas and a band from Vancouver called Yellow Thief are in..."

...and so began the show that would be PPPMMM / SNACKS / LECHUGUILLAS / and due to an infection, YT's other member had to fly back to vancouver, so Dan Rico, Nicole Miller, and Poib from the great Yellow Thief on drums played an improv set.

It was a blast! Chicago's music community came out! Battleship was there! CHIRP was there handing out t-shirts! Liz volunteered her time to come. We've become friends.

Not one, two, but SEVEN local bands have donated their time, gas, energy, and music to play TWO FREE SHOWS for me. For this crazy idea.

Myself, a kid from Wisconsin, with a crazy idea that I really didn't know if people would go for. Really! I knew it would be popular with my friends, but the outpouring of generous support, kind words, and HUGE donations from people I don't even know...

I know them now.

Everyone came out of the woodwork. It was a collaborative effort. It really means a lot to me.

It hit home. It left me speechless. I am forever grateful.

I will get these "perks" out. Some I will mail. Some I will hand deliver. Some of you will pick them up and have beers. Some of them will be done over the summer.

I am blown away the $200 custom short films sold out. People e-mailed me asking if I'd still do one! I LOVE that!

We raised over a hundred dollars for CHIRP Radio!!

I'm throwing some of my own money in to supplement some of this gear. The final list :

Canon Vixia HFS21
Canon 7D
Macbook Pro
Mics , Memory Cards, Batteries.

It takes a week or two to get the final funds. Indiegogo takes 4%, and Paypal takes another 3%, and after shipping, I will likely end up with something around $3,200.

I have some amazing people willing to help me film a whole slew of things over the summer.

I hope you're all ready for a SERIOUS jump in quality.

I'm amazed at how many people have told me they really like this site. They check it every day. They're honored to have media posted. It's a far cry from the one-sentence + video updates I used to do. I didn't realize people were so into it. I will work on making it even better.

If you saw the equipment and computers I was using before, you would laugh. You'd shake your head.

I will try my best to launch a serious website in the summer months.

I've been asked if you can still donate, and the answer is YES, ABSOLUTELY!! Anything would help defray the fees and shipping costs. You can Paypal : , or contact me directly!

It is really tough for me to convey just how blown away I am at all of this. Your support, the things people have said and done. The community rallied for this. A battle-cry for Chicago, a victory for the city, myself, your ears and eyes...

Thank You. Come out on Friday. It's free. The bands are great.

- John Yingling

No comments: