As the world reels from the effects of the novel coronavirus, economies are contracting as social distancing takes hold and people prepare for an extended period of anxious isolation. The disease poses a real threat to the health of millions around the world, which has led to municipalities to place strict limits on public gatherings. This means postponed festivals, cancelled tours and major disruptions in the supply chains that feed revenue into the music industry’s blood stream.
While this of course effects bands, fans and venues, it takes an enormous toll on merchandise vendors, managers and tour staff. It’s a stressful and uncertain time for everyone who loves and lives by the riff. But one enterprising touring veteran has set out to help out these good people. Frank Fanelli, who’s resume includes tour manager, merchandise seller and other critical roles, has created a gofundme fundraiser with the following mission:
For every $20 you donate, you’ll not only get one of the new “Merch Daddy” t-shirts, but I’ll be splitting ALL the donations between everyone who can prove of the touring job they lost through the band themselves, the booking agents, or the management teams. This will take time to sort through, but we’re all cooped up in our homes anyway, so we’ll stay busy with this work. If donations flourish, as a team we can hopefully chip away at rent, buy groceries, feed/our children, pay the phone bill, etc.
At the time of writing, the fundraiser has already raised more than $14,000! It closes at the end of March and has a goal of $20,000. Go here to learn more and chip in, and you can check out Frank’s video below. You may not realize it when you’re in the stands, in the pit, or in line at the bar, but these people form the backbone infrastructure of the concert experience. Without them, all those “best nights ever!” don’t happen. This is a great way to show you care.
Also, those t-shirts are pretty hysterical. That helps.