Marillion have launched Lightsavers, a crowdfunded insurance initiative that solves the band’s inability to obtain pandemic insurance ahead of their UK tour. There is currently no commercial insurance available, and music industry calls for a Government supported insurance scheme fell on deaf ears.
With £150,000 already spent on preparations for The Light At The End Of The Tunnel tour, Marillion faces the risk of losing it all if just one band member has to isolate with COVID-19.
A cancelled tour would leave the band having to honour payments for lighting, trucks, tour buses and crew, while there would be no income from cancelled gigs.
“The band has not played live since the Pandemic began,” Marillion manager Lucy Jordache says, “and to lose such a huge amount of money would be devastating. We tried to get the tour insured, but it has proved impossible. No companies want to take the risk.”
Marillion, who in 1997 were the first band to use crowdfunding, are appealing to their massive worldwide fanbase to join forces and become their insurers for the upcoming tour.
“We’re calling it Lightsavers as the tour is called The Light At The End Of The Tunnel,” Lucy says. “We’re asking our fans to pledge money, held in escrow. If it all goes COVID-19 free, it will be returned at the end of the tour.
“But if we do have to cancel, then their money will be used to pay the band’s unavoidable expenses.”
Every person who donates will receive “money can’t buy” items in return.
Depending on the amount donated, this could be anything from seeing your name in a tour programme, or a free download of a gig, to a group chat or even a personal meeting with the band via Zoom.
Everyone will be entered into a raffle with prizes such as a handwritten lyric of their choice, a full set of guitar plectrums, and personal shout-outs at concerts.
Steve Hogarth hopes fans will be only too happy to help them out.
“We are blessed with having the most amazing fans,” Steve says. “They are incredibly supportive and loyal. We are desperate to play in front of those wonderful crowds again, and I know they are so excited to see us.
“They have come to our rescue before. Way back in 1997, they helped raise $60,000 to underwrite our entire US tour. It was the first noteworthy instance of online crowdfunding – a world first in fact.
“We also used the same method to underwrite some of our studio albums.”
Steve says the pandemic had been “absolutely devastating” for the music industry, and everyone is now desperate to return to normality.
“Like so many other bands, we’ve been in deep freeze for the last 18 months, and it’s been incredibly frustrating. It has been a dark time, of course for everyone, but now there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we need our Lightsavers to ensure we reach there.”
Visit marillion.com/lightsavers for more details.