Is Amanda Palmer the Arianna Huffington of the Music Industry?

Musician Amanda Palmer is taking some heat for her recent efforts to “crowdsource” musicians for her latest concert tour. Palmer, who raised nearly $1.2 million via a Kickstarter campaign to fund her new album and concert, says she cannot afford to pay for a string quartet and a couple of horn players and is asking for volunteer musicians in each city the tour visits.

Palmer vigorously defended asking musicians to play for free via her blog, saying that she’s played many gigs for no pay throughout her long career, and that “this isn’t about money. For me, this is about freedom. And about choices.” Arianna Huffington made a similar argument in defense of her unpaid writers, claiming the opportunity to be heard was reward enough for most contributors. Her network of thousands of bloggers, like Palmer’s devoted fan base, appear to agree.

Palmer, who rose to fame with her former band The Dresden Dolls, told the New York Times she couldn’t afford the extra $35,000 it would cost to hire musicians in place of volunteers. While we don’t know the details of Palmer’s personal finances, it should be noted that she is married to best-selling author, screenwriter and graphic novelist Neil Gaiman, whose net worth is estimated at $18 million.

Tickets for the concert will run you about $35. At least Arianna gives it away for free!