We’ve been reluctant to make a public statement on this issue over the last few weeks but we feel that now it’s only fair that pledgers know what’s happening with the money you’ve all very generously put in to support us.
We have been trying in vain to resolve the issue of non payment from PledgeMusic amicably. They have been extremely poor in answering email messages and seem to have adopted a policy of not answering phone calls at their London office and not responding to any answer phone messages left.
Here’s the facts; We reached 100% of the target amount on November 29th. At this stage we should have received a percentage of the target amount. For us, this payment would cover the cost of the studio and subsequent mastering. Pledge have never been quick to make payments, so after a couple of weeks without any payment and with the studio time fast approaching we attempted to contact our campaign manager at Pledge, with no success.
We finally managed to speak to someone at pledge who informed us that the person we had been assigned as contact from the beginning no longer worked there and that Luke Arthur was now our campaign manager. This was news to us.
A message was left for Luke at that time and eventually we had a conversation with him by phone. This was the one and only time we’ve managed to actually speak to him or anyone else directly. At that time we informed Luke that we must have a payment within two weeks as we were booked in to the studio on January 9. This deadline was mentioned multiple times by email as well. Luke assured us that they understood the urgency and that he would “look into it”.
Cut to the week we’re in the studio. After many, many more attempts to speak to Luke directly and many email messages sent, Pledge finally made a payment to us on January 8.
However, it was over £400 short of what they should have paid, leaving us short to pay Skyhammer.
An intense recording week is hard enough work but we continued to message and attempt to call Pledge re the outstanding amount. To no avail.
Some messages were replied to. Apologies were made, senior Pledge staff were copied in to messages but no payment was made by the time we left.
The following Monday, Pledge Music UK managing director Paul Barton finally replied by email. Again, apologies were made and promises that he would be addressing the shortfall the following day but no explanation as to why this had happened was given.
As of today, no payment has been made.
The next payment we are due will be once we release the digital version to pledgers. That payment would fund the production of CDs and the other merch. However, we are now short for the money to have the album mastered. Without mastering, we can not release the digital version.
The studio has been paid for and we will do our best to cover the mastering costs, so that we can at least release a digital version of the album.
Unfortunately, we’ve received some information about PledgeMusic’s future that offers some expatiation as to why they aren’t paying.
First of all, it isn’t just Mage. It seems that Pledge aren’t paying anyone right now (link to an article on this matter below). In the last 24 hours we have been in contact with other artists, some of which are a lot more established and influential than us, who are also not being paid.
We really wanted to avoid making this public but as we already said, this is your money that Pledge Music are withholding. PledgeMusic takes money from supporters in the understanding that it goes to help the artist produce works that they otherwise would not be able to fund upfront themselves. On that principle we feel that they are acting fraudulently. If the company were in financial trouble but continued to take money from the public, then this could also be considered fraudulent.
Mage are considering taking legal action but are waiting on advice before doing so. We only tell you that because we want you to know that we have been and are doing everything that we can to retrieve the funds so that we can uphold our project agreements and release the new album as intended.
Please remember that Mage is an unsigned band, with no financial or legal backing. Everything we do is funded by ourselves and our supporters. In the event that PledgeMusic are unable to pay the outstanding funds to us, we would most likely be unable to produce the CDs and merch that were pledged for.
We are truly sorry that this has happened during our campaign. Again, please be assured that we will do all that we can to deliver the goods.
As always, thank you all so much for your continued support and patience.