Live Nation has announced the launch of Crew Nation, a $10 million fund to benefit tour crew members during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is being administered by the Music Forward Foundation, a charitable 501c3 organization.
Live Nation will initially contribute $5 million to help support concert crews around the world. The company will then match the next $5 million given by artists, fans and employees dollar for dollar. Fans can donate or buy merch to benefit the fund here.
“Live music inspires millions around the world, but the concerts we all enjoy wouldn’t be possible without the countless crew members working behind the scenes,” Live Nation said in a statement. “As COVID-19 puts concerts on pause, we want to extend a helping hand to the touring and venue crews who depend on shows to make a living. Crew Nation was created to do just that.”
The company added, “Crew members are the backbone of the live music industry, and we hope you’ll join us in supporting them through this temporary intermission until we can once again unite millions around the world through the power of live music.”
The fund will benefit all eligible workers, including “all the backstage staff that help bring concerts to life including: tour managers, production managers, riggers, sound engineers, backline techs, lighting directors/designers, special effects teams, carpenters and more.” Recipients will be selected based on a determination of need. Over the next week, the company said it will be reaching out to crew members from tours whose income has already been affected due to the cancellation or rescheduling of a Live Nation event. Crew members will also be able to send in applications to be considered for funds.
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Live Nation chairman/CEO Michael Rapino wrote on Twitter that he and his family have donated $250,000 to the fund, noting, “Concerts wouldn’t be possible without the crew working behind the scenes to bring them to life.”
In March, Live Nation announced it was halting all large-scale tours in the U.S. and abroad until April alongside AEG. In a joint statement, executives from Live Nation, AEG, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), William Morris Endeavor (WME), Paradigm, and United Talent Agency (UTA) said they were working together to develop best practices to safeguard artists, fans, and staff in the concert industry.
Numerous tours and festivals have been canceled or postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving many crew members without work. The National recently launched a fundraiser of their own to benefit the 12 members of their live crew who are now out of work after the band was forced to cancel a handful of dates because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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