Crowd-funded concerts coming to D.C.

Seattle surf band La Luz will be playing at The Pinch on Aug. 2.
Seattle surf band La Luz will be playing at The Pinch on Aug. 2.

[Corrected, 6:22 p.m.: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Rabbl booked Hundred Waters at DC9. In fact,  DC9 booked Hundred Waters' July 3 show. Rabbl is helping scout for support bands, but Hundred Waters maintains control over the show's opening acts.]

The best place to see up-and-coming bands this summer may well be the tiny basement of a Columbia Heights dive bar.

Rabbl, a concert crowd-funding website, is sponsoring a summer series that’s bringing nationally touring bands to play double-headers at The Pinch (capacity: 100).

The headliners, Pitchfork darlings like La Luz and Odonis Odonis, are already booked. The opening spots, however, are up for grabs, says Rabbl co-founder Erik Needham.

“We’re looking to find a bunch of cool local bands who maybe haven’t played out that much yet,” he says.

The local bands that get the most fans to pre-order tickets through the website will get to play a show. Once the winners are announced, their supporters’ credit cards will be charged. (People who back losing bands will not be charged.)

Why put so much effort into promoting shows that would probably sell out on their own? According to Needham, Rabbl is trying to hook up with local talent and gauge what kinds of crowds different bands can draw. The bands that do the best job of haranguing their friends into buying tickets will be added to Rabbl’s “preferred artist” network. These hardscrabble musicians will be rewarded with opening slots when the website brings bigger bands to town, he says.

Not impressed? Well, don’t forget: These are the same people who brought Clap Your Hands Say Yeah to Baltimore last fall.

Rabbl’s concerts at The Pinch

June 14: The Walking Shapes

June 28: Dope Body

July 5: White Prism

Aug. 2: La Luz

Aug. 16: Boogarins and Wild Ones

Aug. 30: Odonis Odonis

 

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Sadie Dingfelder is a features writer for the Washington Post Express.
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