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Corelia Crowdfunding Campaign Leaves Fans Furious

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Like most things in life, crowdfunding has an upside and a downside.

This is a story about the downside.

So:

In January of 2015, the young, extremely promising prog metal band, Corelia, launched an Indiegogo campaign to crowdfund their eagerly-anticipated full-length debut. The campaign promised that the album would be a ninety-minute, double-disc release, and claimed that “we have wrapped up the writing phase and are completely finished laying out” the record. To say it was a rousing success would be an understatement: the group raised $33,455, a whopping 223% of their original $15,000 goal.

As January 2017 quickly approaches, the album still has not been released. Nor have fans who contributed to the campaign received any of the merch they were promised. Needless to say, these fans are pretty angry, as evidenced by comments on both the project’s Indiegogo page and the band’s Facebook page (and a flurry of e-mails to MetalSucks, which is what prompted us to investigate this story in the first place):

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Indeed, as of this writing, the band’s last Facebook update was on February 2, 2016 (screen cap here if it gets taken down):

Between their contributions continuing to produce no results and the lack of updates from the band, it’s no wonder that their fans have gotten so cranky. And they’re not the only ones: Outerloop Management, which currently works with acts such as Periphery, Refused, Carnifex, Darkest Hour, Ice Nine Kills, and Toothgrinder (to name but a few), has stopped working with Corelia as a result of their inability to deliver upon their promises.

So what gives? Have Corelia ripped off loyal fans? In an e-mail to MetalSucks, the band denied the accusations:

“We’ve had another Facebook update in the works for a while that would address the concerns, but put it off while we dealt with some setbacks in the album’s production process. We’ve been responding to many contributors’ e-mails, PMs, and comments expressing the concern by telling them what our status as a band and with the album is.

“The outcry is mainly due to the fact that we haven’t made an update in a while. We hope that our next post will heal a lot of the fears that we aren’t a band anymore, or that we’ve given up. We’ve been working intensely towards getting the album released, which is what has taken our focus away from having a social media presence. We are in the pursuit of professional grade quality in all things related to the release, with not much help or prior experience. The record is 95+ minutes, after all.

“The accusation that we’re scamming anyone in general is just not true, either. The merchandise that people will be receiving for their contributions to the Indiegogo campaign is still going to be produced and shipped out. Additionally, all of the money we received from the crowdfunding has been allocated towards the record’s production, merchandise, and release campaign. We actually have never personally profited from Corelia or the crowdfunding campaign; all funds have gone towards the band, including a lot of money out of our own pockets over the years. Regardless, we do acknowledge that we’ve been underwhelming in terms of updating our fans, and hope to reconcile this fact by delivering an album of immense scope and quality.”

The band also assured us that they “will be posting our next update soon.”

So what happens now? Indiegogo’s terms of use says that “Campaign Owners are legally bound to perform on any promise and/or commitment to Contributors (including delivering any Perks),” but it does not include a strict timeline under which those commitments must be met. And although it advises contributors that they “can use our Terms of Use in a U.S. court of law, should you choose to take any legal action against the campaign team,” it also says that “Indiegogo is under no obligation to become involved in disputes between Campaign Owners and Contributors.” So they’re probably not going to be much help.

Meanwhile, if lawyering up might sound like a good idea, keep in mind that to do so would mean these fans would have to dig even deeper into their pockets than they have already, likely with no real return (Corelia ain’t exactly Metallica).

In other words, there probably isn’t much these fans can do to get their money back.

We can only hope that this story has a happy ending. If Corelia finally deliver a brilliant album and at last send fans the perks they were promised, it’s possible those fans will forgive the band their missteps.

But I wouldn’t bank on the group ever being able to crowdfund anything ever again.

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