Making It Worthwhile

A new music venture has been launched in Japan to help bring Western indie artists to Japan.

A company called Alive has adopted a crowdfunding system to assure that musicians and promoters don’t lose money due to possible lack of concert attendance.

The site went online in October.

So far, the team responsible thinks that five indie acts have found a big enough audience in Japan to afford the trip overseas.

The system operates by asking potential fans to commit to buying tickets if the band actually makes the journey. If not enough fans commit, any potential trip is off.

Two acts, Blue Hawaii and San Cisco, have hit their target numbers, with two others, XXYYXX and Crocodiles, about 10 percent below their targets as of early December.

The third act, Nouvelle Vague, is about halfway to its goal.

Photo: Scott Legato /
Lincoln Hall, Chicago, Ill.

The planned shows are in March and, if the goal isn’t reached within a certain time, they’ll abandon the plan without making anyone go bankrupt.

Alive was founded by Sam Mokhtary, a Briton living in Tokyo.

He says many promoters in Japan are losing money trying to bring foreign artists over.

As a result, other artists who probably could make it in the Japanese concert market aren’t coming.

“It seemed like a different kind of approach could benefit all,” he told the Japan Times, so he launched the site, which is modeled after a successful Brazilian venture called Queremos!

Brazil is considered a remote market for many indie artists in America and Europe.

“It’s hard to tour there,” Mokhtary told the Times. “It’s hard to get in there and it’s expensive. It’s similar to Japan.”

Also like Japan, fans are quite passionate about music, so it’s viable to tour if fans are involved.