Hello and welcome to my crowdfunder page. Thank you for dropping by. This is where you can get to know me, and really help me get my life as an entertainer and event organiser back on track after Covid 19 tried to sink my ship. Hop on board!
Who am I?
My name is Dawn Gracie and I am a vintage & cabaret performer based in Chichester, West Sussex UK. I'm known as Dawn's Vintage Do! I have quite an amusing and serendipidous story that is fully told on my website - don't pop over there yet until you've read about my campaign. It will then all make sense!
Up until March 25th 2020, I had a full diary of shows and private bookings and I had a huge SOLD OUT Vintage Weekender in the planning stage. With the onset of COVID 19 and then the big lockdown resulting in the complete full stop on all events and gatherings, slowly but surely the private bookings got cancelled and I had no choice but to also cancel my regular ticketed shows. I cried. A lot.
Then the biggest - and hardest - blow came in June when it was announced that the venue I use for my annual residential 3 day experience 'Dawn's Vintage Weekender' would be closed for the rest of 2020, meaning my much loved and highly anticipated event could not go ahead in October. This Vintage Weekender has been a project I have invested tens of thousands of pounds and plenty of blood, sweat and tears into since the debut in 2016.
Dawn's Vintage Weekender Posters 2016 & 2018
Dawn's Vintage Weekender Posters 2019 & 2020 (the sold out Weekender that is cancelled as a direct result of Covid 19)
Finally 2020 was to be THE year and it was practially sold out by February. I was beyond overjoyed to finally be able to cover costs and recoup the losses of previous years. So I was utterly crushed when it had to be cancelled as a result of the pandemic. I am so very lucky that I have followers who have been with me since the beginning of my vintage journey back in 2011 and who stuck by me when I launched my 5 year plan for the Vintage Weekenders back in 2016.
What have I been doing during lockdown?
I committed to learning streaming software that allowed me to produce and host live weekly cabaret shows (my other passion) in order to collect 'tips' for the performers whos videos I showcased.
I also donated my time for free to local charities, doing live weekly performances for Dementia Support and fortnightly for Aldinbourne Trust, a centre for adults with learning diabilities. I have supported St Wilfrid's Hospice with an online show. I have organised an online Festival of Learning in collaboration with Chichester College, to showcase local businesses. I have taken part in various Pride events.
I have given so much time, because it's all I've had. Time.
Now I need to focus on my own future. At a time when there is still so much uncertainty about live performances and venues reopening.
- I can't even consider booking a venue for my Vintage Weekender until things are more stable in the world
- I am still doing free online live performances via facebook
- I am planning how to move forward with live (outdoor?) performances. At the time of publishing this (July 2020) we performers are allowed to do outside gigs with proper risk asessment, limited audience and distance restrictions in place. I will go back to work when I am 100% sure that myself and my audiences are safe and that I have the correct equipment and procedures in place
Why am I doing a Crowdfunder (when I swore I wouldn't after the Kickstarter I did in 2016)?
I have thought long and hard about this question. I did a Kickstarter (all or nothing format on a different platform. It was successful - I raised 8k - but my lord it was HARD work and I learnt a lot about my stamina and skill set!) back in 2016 in the run up to my launch debut Vintage Weekender.
In all honesty I didn't think I'd ever do one again (despite my debt growing each year relating to the Vintage Weekender.... but I'm a determined and ambitious person and nothing was going to put me off my 5 year plan as I knew it would come good eventually and I could work hard as a singer in order to service any debt!). So I've been sucking it up each year, working very hard ... and then 2020 Weekender sold out almost eight months before the event!! HURRAH!
I could no longer gig. I could no longer earn money doing the only thing I do. And my October 2020 Weekender got cancelled by the venue because it cannot repoen safely for the amount of guests I have worked so hard to get and what makes it viable
So here we are.
- To call upon my followers, new and old to help me plan a future of safe social distanced performances by raising money to fund new equipment (currently researching Bose S1 System portable bluetooth speaker but still deciding best option for me) that makes working as a singer as safe as possible (no need to plug in)
- To enable me to afford to renew the necessary PLI insurances and membership to Musicians Union & Equity (I think i'm going to need lots of advice moving forward in this new world)
- To allow me to cover some of the costs I've already incurred for the 2020 Weekender (band deposits, marketing, design, posters, postcards, props, photos...) and cover some of the previous event costs that I've been struggling to repay on account of the fact that I haven't been able to work!
- Moving forward with more financial security will allow me to plan ahead and bring back 'Dawn's Vintage Weekender' stronger than ever before, whenever I can!
- To have some fun as we all love fun!!! See the VIRTUAL PARTY REWARD!
Crowdfunder allows you the supporter to hit the 'donate' button and contribute any amount, for no reward at all (and my gratitude forever) Or you can choose from my list of goodies. Here's an overview - see main list for details
I was born to organsie events and so ultimately I just HAD to offer an immersive VIRTUAL VINTAGE ZOOM PARTY as part of this campaign (Limited numbers so grab this quickly! Includes an actual interactive PARTY BOX that is sent you you ahead of the 12th September party date)
There's also a list of wonderful items including signed PHOTOS, a BRAND NEW CD, a BRAND NEW CUT OUT PAPER DOLLY of me (I did this back in 2016 and people STILL take 'lil ole me on holday with them!), NEW TEMPORARY TATTOOS and NEW TSHIRTS - including one featuring the Weekender 2020 logo but with the addition of 'We Will Meet Again'. Very symbolic for my 'Weekender'ers' but also an exclusive piece of merch for a weekender that never was!
Classic Dawn's Vintage Do Logo T-Shirt
Every single person who donates will have their name placed on a special page on my website 'WALL OF FAME!' This will remain on my website for the rest of the year alongside any BUSINESS SPONSOR website links for all to see what wonderful people have helped me achieve my goal
If this campaign goes beyond my expectations...
I've spent most of 2020 doing online shows and I have been simply using my phone or laptop for this. I would love to grow my Youtube channel with a view of monetising it - NOTE: my son is an expert in this field and has offered to help me - but I need much better equipment such as a professional camera and better lighting. I simply cannot afford any of this without rasing money
Do you want to know my ultimate dream? Who knows, maybe I'll do another Crowdfunder if this one is successful. I've always wanrted my own venue Chichester. To run it as a community project for multi purpose (theatre, arts, events, expos etc etc). Despite the world of entertainment being wiped out this year, it's strangely a stronger desire than ever before. Maybe the next Crowdfunder target needs to be FAR bigger! Dream big people!
In the meantime, I really hope you support my quest to recover in this post lockdown world and build up my future again
Want to find out more about me and follow my daily goings on?
Thank you for being here x