Das Klub has been a project that I have learned a lot from for the last 7 years but the costs in keeping it going into the future at the level I want needs to be addressed now or it may not exist soon.
This year I would like to run another Kalendar contest and aim to have 100 or more sales to cover the costs needed for the radio server, this website (plus SSL) and the guide website. I think it is possible to achieve that goal even if only 1/3 of that number bought the 2017 one.
To take a step back, I will explain the history. Das Klub was launched with an industrial dance contest in 2011. I spent a lot of money on prizes but it was quickly a widely known contest that people still remember. I tried to get enough people on the site so that advertising could enable another contest but not enough people joined. I tried many other contests but nothing really changed.
In 2013 I became pretty upset about all the time, effort and money I had spent and thought it was time to stop the site and first stopped the dance contests. It became more complicated to do that than I wanted because I realized people were upset about this decision. So, since then I've kept the site online and tried to add other things to it with the same goal, get enough people on the site so that advertising could bring it back to what it was/ should be.
I developed a few different things, one being the club/ concert guide, another being, greatly improving the radio station. In 2015 I decided to try producing a calendar to raise funds. I was very generous with this contest, paying all the winners and giving them a free calendar. Sadly, not enough people bought it and I lost a lot of money. In 2016 I tried again but could not afford to pay the winners in cash. More people bought it but it still wasn't enough to even cover the cost of printing and mailing of calendars to the winners.
At this point, I am out of ideas. I do not like to ask for donations, donations are not predictable and you don't get a physical product. The thing that makes the most sense is a calendar because 1) it is needed every year 2) it showcases members on the site 3) I can order exactly how many people want ahead of time so I don't end up with stuff no one wants sitting in a box. The reality though, I can't believe that the winners don't even have 10 followers each to buy it, not even 4 each! You'd think for all the social media that people's fans would want one, right?
By now I have travelled the world meeting people, interviewed many bands, been to many concerts and festivals, created a lot of different code and projects for this site. I am not sure what I personally gain, experience wise, from it anymore so I have to look at the costs of continuing in 2018 and beyond.
It's really only because of people who have contributed or participated that I have kept things going and I definitely appreciate everyone who has kept the passion alive. The people who have bought merchandise, donated money, who have showed up in real life, who have reviewed music, who have made video projects, that is what has kept things alive.
The simple truth is, I have bills to pay for this project, and they cannot be paid without either loosing money or finding a way for this site to make enough money to keep it going. So, that is why I am deciding not to pay the bills in 2018 if I cannot use money from the Kalendar sales to pay them. If that happens, I will not be working on anything else for Das Klub.
So, this is the situation, I need to raise funds to keep this project going. One day this issue has to be addressed so why not now? If things do work out, then I would be willing to bring dance contests back and strive towards my other goals for this project, like an actual music festival. But I cannot have such big dreams in my head when I am buried in dirt.
If people want to be a part of a unique online community that enables them to meet each other, share their videos, their music, their experiences and their photos then it should motivate people to buy and make the goal achieved. If people take things for granted then, like a lot of other projects/ bands in the underground, it cannot survive.
Scenario 1: Das Klub shuts down - if there are less than 100 Kalendar sales, Das Klub ends. In January, 2018 Das Klub Radio ( https://dasklub.com/radio ) and Das Klub Guide ( http://guide.dasklub.com/ ) will go offline. This website will go offline later in the year after the SSL expires. Social media for Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for Das Klub will become inactive.
Scenario 2: Das Klub stays online with dance contest - if there are 100 or more Kalendar sales, all Das Klub services will be paid for through 2019 and a dance contest will be created.