How You Can Help Keep the Joy of Live Alive
Staff writer - May 19, 2020

How You Can Help Keep the Joy of Live Alive

Livestream performances raising money for causes and artists, organizations providing assistance to industry workers, and merchandise sales benefiting artists—this is your guide to giving back in this challenging time.
Hands in the shape of a heart over a concert crowd

We’re all in this together! The live entertainment industry is rallying together as COVID-19 has led to canceled events and the isolation of millions around the world. Many people are facing hardships and are in need of support. Here are 3 easy ways you can help:

1. Donate to livestreams raising money

Across music and theater and around the world, artists in every genre are delivering unique livestream performances where you can donate to a cause or the artist on the spot. Here’s a sampling:

May 20, 8 p.m. ET
Virtual Hot Pink Evening
Breast Cancer Research Foundation is holding their first-ever Virtual Hot Pink Evening fundraiser. The star-studded Broadway tribute to Hamilton’s Mandy Gonzalez will feature special guests Laura Benanti, Norbert Leo Butz, Edie Falco, Sir Elton John, and more.

May 23-24
One Earth Live | Online Transformational Festival
This virtual multi-stage event will feature over 100 performances of musicians, youth activists, yoga teachers, spiritual leaders, poets and much more over a two-day online experience. Event donations support artists and on-the-ground COVID-19 relief efforts.
 
May 24, 8 p.m. ET
National Memorial Day Concert
This PBS program featuring an all-star line up will include uplifting musical performances, documentary footage, and dramatic readings that honor all men and women in the military service and their families at home. 

May 26, 8 p.m. ET
Georgia On My Mind
This free online concert benefiting the Georgia Music Foundation is hosted by Indigo Girls' Amy Ray and singer/songwriter Brett Cobb. Among the artists performing are Amy Grant, Chuck Leavell, Katie Pruitt, John Berry, The War & Treaty, Jontavious Willis, and more.

May 28, 10 p.m. ET
Questlove’s Potluck
Questlove is hosting a virtual dinner party for his famous friends on the Food Network. Patti LaBelle, Olivia Wilde, Kenan Thompson and more will be making some of their favorite dishes and drinks from their home kitchens. Funds raised go to America’s Food Fund.

June 6, 3 p.m. ET
Dear Class of 2020
“Dear Class of 2020" is a virtual commencement celebration for graduating seniors that brings together inspirational leaders (including the Obamas), celebrities, and YouTube creators to celebrate graduates, their families, and their communities. 

Multiple performances each week
We Are Here “On the Air”
Founded by famed singer/songwriter Linda Perry, this platform streams live content to help support entertainers, crew members, and other creatives out of work during this trying time. Livestream content includes educational discussions and entertainment brought directly to your home. 

Daily at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET
Stars in the House
SiriusXM Broadway host Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley, are producing a daily online mini-show featuring stars of stage and screen singing and performing live from home. This concert series raises funds for The Actors Fund’s services for those most vulnerable to the effects of Coronavirus.

2. Support organizations providing assistance

There are a number of nonprofits offering financial support, medical services, and other assistance to live event industry workers and healthcare professionals related to the coronavirus pandemic. Here are few you can support now:

  • Sweet Relief is providing immediate financial assistance to music industry professionals.
  • MusiCares is providing emergency aid and advocacy for the music industry broadly.
  • Broadway Cares is providing healthcare, financial assistance, and counseling to entertainment professionals.
  • The Actors Fund is providing financial assistance for performing arts and entertainment professionals.

3. Buy artist merch

One of the easiest ways to support the live events community during this time (and to hold yourself over until events are back) is by discovering new music, showing off your fandom, and treating yourself to some merch. These are a few of our favorite small artists we’d love for you to check out and support:

  • Great Grandpa is a grunge pop band from Seattle, though their most recent work is a welcome shift that puts songwriting center stage. We highly recommend listening to their newest album “Four of Arrows,” which was written by band members Patrick and Carrie Goodwin while they were (now ironically) in isolation.
  • Overcoats are major New York vibes. This alternative duo is all about using music to give you the “push” to do what you want with your life. They’ve been featured on best-of lists by Billboard and NPR. Check out their brand new album “The Fight.”
  • Diamante is Sweet Relief's new #SweetSupporter and she will be donating 50% of merch sales from her "Serves You Right" design to Sweet Relief to support all musicians and music industry workers who have been impacted by COVID-19. Check out her new single and get yourself a t-shirt while you’re at it.
  • Night Moves is a Minnesota-grown trio was inspired by classic 70s Americana. They came on the scene a decade ago with an eclectic Nashville southern rock/indie pop vibe that’s stood the test of time. Their newest album “Can You Really Find Me” debuted last year.
  • Rae and the Ragdolls is a rock band from Atlanta, GA looking to bring an eclectic and classic sound back into the spotlight. Check out their new song “All I Wanna Do is Love.
  • Sudan Archives first hit the scene as an avant-garde violinist. She’s now expanded her unique sound into powerful vocals and experimental instrumentation and beats. Check out her album ‘Athena’ released last year.
  • Best Coast has been one of our favorites for the last decade. If you haven't been listening for just as long, do your ears a favor and get on it! Their classic California indie vibes are perfect for welcoming the sunshine of spring. Get their newest album ‘Always Tomorrow’ on vinyl ASAP. 
  • Judah and the Lion If you’ve never seen Judah and the Lion live, put it on your list of post-quarantine to-dos. Their high-energy, eclectic combo of blues, folk, rock, hip-hop, and electronic is a good time no matter how you define your musical taste. Their latest EP ‘Pep Talks Remix’ takes you on an emotional journey in the best way possible.
  • Phony Ppl was a crowd favorite at last year’s StubHub Soundstage at SXSW and continues to be one of our office soundtrack staples. This R&B/hip-hop Brooklyn-based band has a fresh, unique sound that truly speaks to the soul. Check out their Billboard-charting album ‘Yesterday’s Tomorrow’ and their newest single ‘Fkn Around.’
  • Soccer Mommy has quickly climbed the indie charts touring with everyone from the likes of Paramore to Kacey Musgraves and even hit the stage at Coachella last year. Her most recent album “color theory” dropped earlier this year and is perfect for emotoional at-home binge-listening.
  • Colony House, an indie rock quartet, is one of our favorites to see live. Influenced by U2 and the Cold War Kids, their nod to rock n’ roll is ever-present. Their newest album ‘Leave What’s Lost Behind’ is amazing and also makes for a great addition to your band t-shirt collection.
  • Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors basically define the term “Americana,” you can find it here. Inspired by Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, their music feels soothingly familiar.  Check out the newest album ‘Dragons’ released last year.
  • White Denim is an Austin-based indie rock band drawing eclectic influence from many genres including garage rock, jazz, and blues. Check out their recent 30-day album project titled ‘World As A Waiting Room.’
  • Houndmouth hails from Indiana with a modern take on everything we love about folk, country, and rock. Their most recent album is a treat for the ears. We especially love their LA/SF poster set for livening up your WFH space (or really any space).
  • Devon Gilfillian Inspired by everything from Motown to hip-hop, if there’s one word to describe Devon Gilfillian it’s “soul.” Grab his brand new LP ‘Black Hole Rainbow’ on vinyl. We promise it’ll be one of your new favorite records.