It is with a mixture of anger, sadness and disappointment that we have to make this announcement but we feel that it is important to let you know exactly what the situation is with Pledge Music and our current campaign, or lack of one, so you can make your own decision on the actions you need to take to protect yourself from what looks like a one way trip to oblivion in terms of where your money has disappeared to whilst Pledge Music have been ‘looking after it’ for you.
As you know we have spent the last 12 months since we launched the campaign writing, recording and mixing our new album. Three months ago we requested a payment from Pledge Music that was due to us so we could plan ahead to manufacture the album to be delivered by the end of this month as we promised you. They refused. They’ve ignored us ever since.
At the start we had great communication with the people at Pledge Music and spoke highly of the company and how we felt it was a great way for independent artists like ourselves to connect with like minded people who already knew about our band and wanted to support us in the project of making a new album. This is the whole point of crowdfunding companies – to be the link between fans and artists and provide a safe transaction of money and product between the two. Most importantly – to use the money from the crowd to fund the project in advance to allow it to happen.
The good news is that we have 100% completely finished the recording, mixing and mastering of the new Space Monkeys album – we believe in this music and we can’t wait for you to hear it. And we will make sure you do hear it.
The bad news is we still haven’t been paid the money from Pledge Music which they had agreed at the start of the campaign that they would make available to us in order to pay for all the important stuff that costs money – manufacturing the CD’s and Vinyl you ordered and paid for, paying graphic designers and photographers to make the artwork, paying the cash to hire venues for the gigs you paid for, paying for the travel costs, paying for the delivery and shipment of all the orders that you paid for over a year ago.
If we could afford to pay for all these things in advance, guess what? We wouldn’t have needed to use Pledge Music to ask you to fund the project, we’d have just done it.
Pledge Music have since moved the goalposts. Or to be more accurate, their American parent company seem to have bullied them into selling all the goalposts and sending all the UK money over the pond to them so they can pay off their debts in the US. We don’t think this is acceptable.
Pledge Music terms and conditions that we agreed to when we signed up to work with them (and are still printed in ‘terms and privacy’ on their home page) state that -“‘The Artist’ is responsible for setting the date on which the deliverables will be satisfied (the ‘Fulfilment Date’). If the Artist anticipates that merchandise due to a Pledger will not be sent by the fulfilment date, you will be notified of the delay in delivery and informed of the new fulfilment date (the Pledger will be entitled to a FULL REFUND in relation to any Merchandise not dispatched).”
The ‘Fulfilment date’ we set at the start of the campaign was 31/01/19. Seven days ago we asked if they could make a small payment of the funds they owe us (about 25% of the total still owed) so we could use this to manufacture the album. They refused. They then ignored us. We told them if they continued to ignore us we would have no choice but to advise our Pledgers to cancel and demand a full refund after the Fulfilment date of 31/01/2019 had passed as stated in their terms and conditions. To make things worse, quite unbelievably, they then changed this date themselves to 29/03/19. Possibly not a coincidence that this is the deadline date for Brexit – which is a process that seems to be using a similar management strategy. We see a ship on the harbour. And it’s sinking very fast.
We therefore have lost all trust and confidence in Pledge Music after they have done this, which blatantly breaks their own terms and conditions that only the artist can set this date, which we certainly did not. We believe they have acted fraudulently by doing this, purely to stop you from requesting refunds. We feel, at the very least they might have had the courtesy to tell us and you they were doing this. We do not feel that we can have confidence that Pledge Music will make any further payments to us and therefore we feel it may be in your best interests to request a full refund from Pledge Music ASAP stating they have passed the original ‘Fulfilment date’. Their terms and conditions also state you will receive a full refund within 3-5 days. This is your decision. If you choose not to, we can’t guarantee your money will ever be paid from Pledge Music to us to get you what you have paid for.
Pledge Music take almost 20% of the money raised before paying artists. This should be more than enough to cover their business costs and salaries and they should not use your money to fund other projects or running costs that you have not agreed to.
Along with a number of other independent artists, such as Jesus Jones, we are currently seeking legal advice to ensure that Pledge Music do not get away with this and that the money goes to the right people. Please contact Pledge Music directly to advise of your actions and if you need to make us aware of anything please contact us through Space Monkeys social media channels.
As a final note, we promise you that we will fight with you to get your money back or the items that you have paid for to be delivered in a reasonable timescale.
In a very weak statement the other day, Pledge Music tweeted that someone in America called Benji was now forming a ‘strategic process’ to put things right. Benji would do well to research the history of Manchester bands who have historically been ripped off by record labels. Paint cans at the ready. Soho, here we come. The more you ignore us, the closer we get.
Thank you again for supporting us in making this music. We Are Together.