Artists Step Up To Aid Victims Of Tragedies
While many artists cancelled concerts last week after terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., several that soldiered on used the events to raise moWhile many artists cancelled concerts last week after terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., several that soldiered on used the events to raise money to help the victims and the ongoing relief and clean-up effort.
Closest to ground zero, modern rock act Incubus' two weekend shows at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, a few miles from the site of the former World Trade Center, benefited relief funds established to help the city recover from the attacks. The band was joined by promoter Metropolitan Entertainment Group and local rock radio outlet WXRK (K-Rock), who also donated their income from the concerts.
Although miles apart physically, as well as in musical style, boy band the Backstreet Boys and Southern rock act Lynyrd Skynyrd each pledged at least $10,000 of their ticket sales from concerts last Thursday night to help kick-off the ClearChannel.com Relief Fund. The newly established initiative will benefit the American Red Cross, as well as New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania-area police and firefighters, and military personnel. Anyone interested in finding out more or donating can do so through the fund's official Web site.
Veteran R&B act Earth, Wind & Fire has pledged $25,000 to the American Red Cross, specially earmarked to aid New York firefighters, police, and their families. The group -- along with Rufus featuring Chaka Khan and Rahsaan Patterson -- was able to perform as planned last Thursday in Virginia Beach, Va., and Saturday in Wantagh, N.Y. A postponed Sept. 11 show in Wallingford, Conn., is being rescheduled.
The Red Cross also benefited from the annual Crestview (Fla.) Music Festival, where local country radio station WYZB invited the organization to collect donations for its National Disaster Relief Fund. Tracy Byrd was scheduled to headline the affair, but due to the ban on air travel throughout the country, he was stranded in Hawaii and unable to perform. Fellow country artist Joe Diffie, at home in Nashville with a few days off from his own tour, rallied his band and crew to perform at the event in Byrd's place.
Blues artist Robert Cray also had the Red Cross in mind as he brought his band into Seattle's Moore Theatre on Saturday. "We, along with everyone else, are shocked and saddened by this week's events on the East Coast and we hope that contributing the proceeds from this show can be of some help," Cray said in a statement.
Accordingly, he donated his proceeds to the organization, and concert organizers -- local radio outlet KMTT-FM, Seattle Theatre Group, House of Blues Concerts, Ticketmaster, Impact Work Group, and Carlson Audio -- donated their services, increasing the potential donation from the show. KMTT also coordinated with the Red Cross to collect donations from concertgoers.
Also in Seattle, progressive rock act Queensryche will sponsor a Sept. 25 community blood drive. Beginning at noon at the Stadium Exhibition Center in the band's hometown, the six-hour affair will coincide with the release of its double-live album "Live Evolution" (Sanctuary). The band's members all plan to join the effort and give blood, which will be collected and rushed to New York as well as distributed to area hospitals.