This month's selection of crowdfunding projects with a London flavour returns to our old friend Kickstarter.
All right, here's the set-up: a group of people have come together to get lawn bowls recognised as an Olympic sport. They will do so by promoting the endeavours of the Jamaican team as they attempt to qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. Bowls, it turns out, is a Commonwealth Games sport, though ironically the only time it wasn't on the bill was at the 1966 Games in Jamaica.
Anyway, this quartet of never-seen-a-bobsled-in-their-lives Jamaicans go by the names 'The Best' (he's the best), 'The Boxer' (used to be a boxer), 'The Bowler' (running out of names here chaps) and 'The BBC' (because he used to work for Aunty). The latter might come in handy as they produce a web series documenting the travails of this extraordinary outfit, for which they require a few quid via crowdfunding. Pledge rewards include signed team photos, VIP party invites and various levels of involvement in film production. Jamaica Road certainly looks like it has the potential for hilarity, one way or another.
East London Mornings
In the words of the authors of this project, "In our Costabucks era it is difficult to imagine spaces within central London free from high-street coffee-chains and the madness of global capital." Those of you who agree with that statement may well be interested in this 'art guide' to the finest places to have breakfast in east London, which we can safely assume will not include Caffè Nero at the Olympic Park.
The book will be filled with illustrations, maps and artwork of the finest places to sit and contemplate the forthcoming day. Pledge rewards offered by authors Katya Katkova and Anastasia Beltyukova include various project-related stickers and postcards, up to a bicycle tour of east London featuring some of the fine establishments in the book.
The Age of No Retirement
Unless there's been a breakthrough that passed us by, people get old and have to retire. Frequently we hear that that's pretty much the end of that and they switch from 'productive member of society' to 'burden' in short order, which given the skills they possess seems pretty bloody daft to us.
And to the people behind The Age of No Retirement, according to this Kickstarter. This is a week-long debate to be held at the Oxo Tower in October, intending to grapple with the idea that retirement equals scrapheap. Funds are required for the hiring of the venue and to spread the word, and pledge rewards include an invitation to certain invitation-only debates and even the chance to speak at the event yourself.
The Life of a Street Piano
Music certainly connects people and the piano has to be considered at the centre of that, given its prominence in London's pubs over the past few centuries. Maureen Ni Fiann certainly doesn't think one Joanna between thousands of Eurostar passengers at St Pancras is nearly enough and has launched a Kickstarter for her new documentary film, which aims to promote the idea of more permanent pianos on urban streets. Well, pavements anyway.
"The way that we behave in city streets is dull and lifeless", says Maureen, and you can often see her point. Wouldn't things be better with someone tinkling the ivories as you stride past? You might even take your earphones out for once and the world can only improve with fewer of us plugged in the whole time. In order to raise funds for her new film, Maureen is offering rewards such as interviews to jam sessions and the film premiere plus, of course, copies of the completed film.
A Tail Of Two Cities
Here we have some form of interactive performance game thing, set in the heart of London. That was a fairly vague sentence, because the Kickstarter page is fairly vague about exactly what's going on, and certainly why the title is 'tail' rather than 'tale'.
The upshot seems to be that through various phone calls, clues and rendezvous, participants will explore a hidden side of the city that is partly created by the makers of the event, Coney, and partly just there, like cities are. For example, performers will be 'hidden in plain sight for players to encounter'. There are various pledge rewards that make it all sound quite fun, but no less confusing and mysterious, so take a look at the Kickstarter page and see if you can make a head or... tail of it.