With a 2016 packed with natural disasters and tragedy, moving forward with a positive outlook on life in 2017 seemed near impossible. We endured earthquakes, bombings, shootings, and internal conflict among Americans. Despite these dire consequences, however, we’ve seen an emergence of universal philanthropy in the music industry to remind us all we’re not alone.
We saw benefit shows start popping up everywhere. In New York, we saw charity shows for local non-profits and for the victims of the Orlando shooting. We watched as huge events raised thousands, like when Big Gigantic did a charity set in Denver, and small events aided those most in need, like when Strange Brew closed in Austin and donated their earnings to newly unemployed staff.
And it wasn’t just in America. Jackmaster donated 10% of his proceeds to the tragedy in Aleppo. The world seemingly came together to aid each other in these dark times.
While 2017 seems to be just as filled with conflict as 2016, there seems to be a sense of community within the music industry, one that encourages everyone to continue to support one another.
In light of the recent United States election, many artists have voiced their opinions against President Donald Trump’s polarizing legislation. In response to the reinstatement of the global gag rule, which cuts US international aid for abortions globally, Austra donated album proceeds to Planned Parenthood. It’s a personal form of rebellion for what they, as individuals, believe in.
Most recently, we’ve seen one of the largest benefit concerts ever announced as an opposition to Trump’s recent executive order on immigration and refugees. Trump’s order “keep[s] refugees from entering the country for 120 days and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations out for three months”.
Among the protests, a large portion of the international DJ community have voiced their concerns and objections. Zedd, in particular, has gone above and beyond and organized a benefit line-up stacked with huge headliners, with all proceeds going to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). From his statement:
“As an immigrant myself I feel the need to stand up against the tyranny that threatens our basic human rights. I’m thrilled to come together with Daya, Halsey, Imagine Dragons, Incubus, Macklemore, Skrillex, Tinashe and many more (to be announced soon) to help raise money for the ACLU, an organization that works daily to defend and preserve the rights guaranteed to us by the constitution.”
The concert will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on April 3rd, 2017. According to Zedd’s Twitter, artists will perform “anywhere from 3 songs to 30 mins … some artists will do acoustic sets, some will do unique collaborations”.
Full information regarding tickets and details around performances will be released Thursday, February 9th. Phase 1 lineup has been announced here [Editor’s Note: The following lineup was updated February 13th]:
Giving to the ACLU seems to be contagious. Grimes and Sia have also made contributions to the ACLU in their own way, and matched donations up to $100,000 dollars to the ACLU.
It didn’t stop there, either. On February 3rd, 2017, Bandcamp created a sale that made over $1,000,000, with the 12% cut that usually goes to Bandcamp instead going to the ACLU (over $100,000). More than 400 labels and bands partnered with bandcamp.com to donate the day’s proceeds to the ACLU as well.
If you’ve caught the giving bug from one of the many talented and thoughtful artists contributing to public good, don’t worry – you can do your part! Tickets to the ACLU benefit ‘WELCOME’ go on sale soon. We’re pretty awestruck by the compassion shown by the industry, and we’re stoked to see how it helps the community continue to grow in 2017.