Talk about an uphill battle. Shachar Tal, a Tel Aviv-based hi-tech entrepreneur, is intent on bringing his favorite band to Israel and has started a crowdfunding campaign to try to make this dream a reality.
Foo Fighters? Arctic Monkeys, perhaps?
No, Tal has his sights set on obscure Swedish progressive rockers Änglagård, a decidedly non-mainstream band that only sporadically releases its albums and has rarely performed abroad.
The band’s first two studio albums Hybris and Epilog received the “album of the year” designation by polls of progressive rock fans in 1992 and 1994, respectively.
Tal has been a fan of Änglagård for almost 20 years and has been listening to them avidly since around 2004.
“Änglagård has a special place in my heart. Their exact music has escorted me through a lot of hardships in life,” he said.
Crowdfunding is a good match for risky plans
Plugged into Israel’s vibrant metal community, Tal knew that there was a die-hard community of progressive rock fans that would also be interested in seeing Änglagård live. The only problem was that due to the band’s specific fan base, it could be risky for a producer to take on such a commitment and Tal couldn’t shoulder the project all by himself.
“When crowdfunding became a thing I thought that it was a very good match for this kind of risky endeavor and I began begging people to go for it,” Tal said.
“This is the first real crowdfunding campaign to bring an international band to Israel.”
Tal created an advertisement searching for a producer that would be willing to take on the challenge alongside him. He posted it to a Facebook group specifically for connecting progressive rock fans in Israel. Guitarist Yossi Sassi, formerly of Israel metal favorites Orphaned Land, saw the advertisement and sent it to his friend Kumeran Sahar, who got in touch with Tal and told him he was willing to help to make the show happen.
“This is the ultimate challenge,” Sahar said. “This band is the definition of a cult band. Beyond being very good, this band is extremely reclusive. They have barely had any concerts worldwide and their music is sparse as they only come out with a new album every once in a while.”
Together, the two planned the logistics of the event and worked with Änglagård to sign a contract for the performance. They agreed with the band that they would attempt to reach a set goal of NIS 55,000 via the crowdfunding campaign. So far, they have raised just over NIS 20,000 with the campaign open until July 31.
If the crowdfund is not able to reach its goal then there will be no monetary transactions made at all, according to Sahar.
“A lot of times people get stuck with their money being given to production companies,” Sahar said. “The way our model works is you pledge money but the money isn’t redeemed. If the show doesn’t happen you won’t get charged.”
Alternatively, if the crowdfunding is able to reach its goal then the payments will go through and the concert will take place in Israel on September 11 at Gray’s in Tel Aviv. Änglagård will play their first album and some other surprise songs.
The band members are super-enthusiastic about coming to Israel, according to Tal and Sahar. They said the last time they communicated with the band there was a shared sentiment of seeing only opportunities, rather than problems.
“This has never been done in Israel in a way that the community itself is actually behind making the show happen,” Sahar said.
“It would be a huge window of opportunity here if this works. It will encourage more people to listen to fan bases and to open up more lines of communication and I’m all for it. This will go a long way towards getting fans their bands of choice in the country.”
Tickets can be purchased at https://my.israelgives.org/en/fundme/anglagard