(A Gary Numan Patreon Project)
For many years I’ve looked at ways of bringing fans closer to me, making the relationship better.
It started back in the day with the Fan Club. Then we had the phone lines and monthly competitions. We now have Meet and Greets and people coming to rehearsals, new album campaigns and, more recently, the ‘In Conversation’ events.
What I’ve found though is that it’s not an easy thing to get right. What works for some people doesn’t work for others. So, I would like to build a fan community, something that people can be a part of at whatever level they’re comfortable with. Not for the fanatics, because they scare me, and not for the casual, because they only come along if they’ve nothing better to do, but for the real, hard core fan.
Social Media is great, it can offer things that are valuable and informative, but it’s like having a beautiful garden with no fence. Anyone can just wander in, start trouble, cause damage and then leave, and they do it with a mask on so you can’t know them, or keep them out. I find that demoralising and wasteful of time and energy. I want to build something that is more exclusive, where only real fans come in, and where they get something they just can’t get anywhere else. Something more rewarding. Something that gives them an even greater insight into my working life, and my private life. So, I’m creating a new Patreon project called Ghost Nation.
Ghost Nation will be a monthly subscription service and so, because it isn’t built around a single project, like a new album for example, it has no end as such. As long I have something to offer, and fans are interested and want to be involved, it can just keep going. Ultimately, what I’d like to create is a place where you can be a witness not just to the making of an album, but to my life.
I have yet to work it all out and so it will start cautiously, but very soon. As it progresses, and based very much on what fans like, don’t like, and would like to see in the future, I hope that it will quickly evolve and grow into a genuine community for genuine fans. But, I must make it very clear, this is very much an experiment, and it might not work out. It might be too big an addition to my workload, it might not be interesting enough for you, it might create too much friction, who knows? But, I think it’s worth a try.
Patreon operates, for the most part, on a number of different levels, or tiers. You can subscribe to whatever tier suits you best, and you can upgrade or downgrade to different tiers whenever you wish. Ghost Nation will follow that pattern with four different tiers, The entry level will be called ‘Pure’, the next level ‘Dark’, then ‘Shadow’ and finally, the top tier, that offers the most, will be called ‘Ghost’.
I’m still thinking this through, but here’s a few ideas I’ve had. I’d like to make available video performances of songs filmed at many different shows in the past that were never released. Demo recordings of songs old and more recent. Acoustic performances of songs filmed at home once in a while, some with the band perhaps, some just me. Video clips of home life. The higher tiers could also get discounts on the Numan Online Store, advance notice of concerts tickets, the chance to pre-view promo videos before they were made public and perhaps the chance to pre-order new DVD releases and other items before they go on general sale. A personal email exchange perhaps, or a personalized video message on your birthday.
As I say, these are just some of the ideas being considered at the moment. Some will make it, some will not, some will last, some will be abandoned along the way. But, this is something that could grow and, if it does, it will inevitably change as we learn, hopefully for the better. I want this to last for many years so it’s important that we grow it together, and carefully. I want to create a place where the true fan can finally get that insider look at who I am, and what I do. I’m not just an independent artist, I’m also self-managed, so I probably make two mistakes for every one good decision. But, I’m always moving forward, always learning, always adapting. It’s a constant challenge, but one I think you might be interested in being a part of.
If you think so too, and you want to be a part of the journey, join the Ghost Nation. Details on how to do that will be posted soon.