Even though Colorado is slowly reopening, the live-music industry has shut down for the foreseeable future, and now state officials, universities, foundations and music managers and promoters are teaming up to get something noteworthy going. On Saturday, May 30, many of the biggest names in music will throw a virtual concert to help launch the Colorado Music Relief Fund.
The event, presented by Breckenridge Brewery, is called Banding Together: A Concert for the Colorado Music Relief Fund, and will include performances by the Avett Brothers, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Brandi Carlile, Dave Matthews, the Lumineers, Michael Franti, Nathaniel Rateliff, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Sam Bush, the String Cheese Incident and many more.
The fund is a collaboration of the State of Colorado, 7S Management, The Bee Vradenburg Foundation, the Bohemian Foundation, Colorado Creative Industries - Division of OEDIT, Colorado Music Hall of Fame, Colorado State University, Energize Colorado, KBCO, KSUT, the Marigold Project, RedLine and others.
“Coloradans have a history of coming together during times of crisis, and now more than ever, we are looking toward music and art to find comfort during this difficult time,” notes Governor Jared Polis in a statement announcing the fund. “Colorado’s music industry and rich pool of talent is an important part of our culture, economy, and the Colorado way of life. I can’t wait for the day when we can all return to one of Colorado’s excellent music venues to see our favorite bands play live again. But until then, I’m excited that the state can partner with the Colorado Music Relief Fund in this effort.”
The fund announcement follows in the wake of permanent closures of several music venues, including 3 Kings, Live @ Jack's and La Cour; many others are on the brink of closure in Colorado. Across the country, hundreds of independent venues have rallied together to form the National Independent Venue Association, to push the government to offer specific aid for clubs and venues that have been closed during the pandemic but hope to reopen again.
The Banding Together fundraiser comes two weeks after the Lumineers led a live-stream concert with many of the same musicians on the bill; that event raised more than $600,000 to support relief efforts for the music industry and restaurant workers.
Rateliff was on that bill, and he'll perform again on May 30. “Our crew is the lifeblood of our touring operation,” he explains. “Living and working together over the years, we have become family. I am glad to do whatever I can to support our music community right now, and the CMRF is a lifeline to so many in our state.”
Applications for the Colorado Music Relief Fund open on May 28.
The virtual event will take place Saturday, May 30, from 6 to 9 p.m. Banding Together will be broadcast on 97.3 KBCO and live-streamed, as well as broadcast on CBS4 Denver. Find more information on the CMRF website.