Before classically-trained dubstep violinist Lindsey Stirling made it big, she performed in school cafeterias and would occasionally have to sleep in airports as she hustled her way to the top.
Going the traditional route just wasn’t working out for Stirling a couple of years ago, she tells Business Insider. Making one hit song could cost millions of dollars, and no one was willing to make a bet on her.
“I got discouraged because no one was interested,” Stirling says. “They’d say, ‘I’m sorry you’re just too different, we don’t know what to do with you.’ No one was interested in the kind of artist I wanted to be.”
In 2010, Stirling wound up on Fox’s “America’s Got Talent,” where she was known as the hip-hop violinist. But Stirling wanted to be more than that. So she took all of her favourite influences and is now often referred to as the “Skrillex of classical music,” a title she says she relates to.
“I think that’s a pretty cool title,” Stirling says. “It was Skrillex who got me into dubstep. He made it melodic — not just a bunch of crazy sounds. I want to make dubstep something beautiful.”
Thanks to artists services and ticketing startup CrowdSurge, Stirling has been able to sell tickets to her show on her own terms. Unlike traditional ticketing platforms, CrowdSurge does not withhold sales data from the artist. For her 2014 tour, Stirling has so far sold over 13,000 tickets through CrowdSurge.
When you buy tickets to Stirling’s shows, you’ll be directed to her personal CrowdSurge page. Within the first 30 minutes of tickets going on sale in the U.S., CrowdSurge sold 25% of the tickets to Stirling’s shows. Some individual performances are completely sold out.
CrowdSurge also makes it easy for artists to connect with their fans. Through Stirling’s CrowdSurge-powered campaign she collected over 16,000 fan email addresses for the purposes of interacting with fans And Stirling has taken full advantage of that.
One of the more memorable experiences Sitrling has had thanks to CrowdSurge was when she met a fan who only had a month to live due to cancer. She was touched that he picked her show to be his very last concert.
“It’s so magical to be able to meet your fans,” Stirling says. “It’s about people and connecting.”
Watch Stirling in action below.