Faircamp is a Free Bandcamp Alternative

A beautiful and free platform for Musicians.

In the aftermath of Epic selling Bandcamp to Songtradr, Bandcamp has found itself in a place of instability. Half of the company’s employees were laid off post-acquisition, leading many to speculate over the beloved platform’s future. Most importantly, many artists who depended on the service are left looking for alternatives.

There isn’t a Fediverse solution yet. Although Funkwhale is a great music platform, it’s just not geared towards selling music. Not all is lost, however, as the Faircamp project is stepping in to help musicians.

What is Faircamp, Exactly?

Source: Faircamp site

Faircamp bills itself as “a static site generator for audio producers”, but an easier way to understand it is this: it’s a simple site that you can host yourself. Install some software on your server, point it at the folder of the music you want to sell, and your site’s pages will build themselves. You can find a great guide for getting started here.

Source: Faircamp site

Faircamp offers a high degree of customization, all while looking good doing it. Artists are able to set up payment for albums and tracks, offer freebies, unlock codes, and embed a player in other sites. It looks great on mobile, too.

Community Response

So far, the music community has responded to Faircamp very positively. Many musicians within the Fediverse have actively made an effort to form an old-school webring, in the hopes of supporting one another.

Testing the Control.org band Faircamp via Mobile Browser, hosted on RadioFreeFedi

More notably, Radio Free Fedi has been incredibly proactive, offering a free service to help Fedi musicians host their own Faircamp sites on RadioFreeFedi’s infrastructure.

With the recent sale of Bandcamp to predatory VC extractive vultures, and the main move to finalise that sale was to fire all the recently unionised staff, the writing is on the wall for the last least worst option…

…here is an option for members of our community who may not want or be able to self-host their music and/or would like something that is a simple, tidy, open and not walled garden or metrics driven home to offer their music to supporters.

Radio Free FedI

Embeds still look a little janky on mobile, but they could probably get cleaned up by submitting a simple pull request on the project’s Codeberg repository.

All in all, Faircamp looks like it’s shaping up to be a great alternative method for supporting Fediverse musicians! Hopefully this effort brings renewed interest towards building federated tools for creatives on the network, somewhere down the road.

Sean Tilley

Sean Tilley has been a part of the federated social web for over 15+ years, starting with his experiences with Identi.ca back in 2008. Sean was involved with the Diaspora project as a Community Manager from 2011 to 2013, and helped the project move to a self-governed model. Since then, Sean has continued to study, discuss, and document the evolution of the space and the new platforms that have risen within it.

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