PPL donates £75k to Stagehand Covid-19 fund
The Stagehand Covid-19 relief fund has been bolstered by a £75,000 donation from PPL, the UK’s music licensing company for performers and recording rights holders.
The fund was founded by the Production Services Association (PSA) in September 2020 to support touring crews and event production workers during the live industry’s ongoing unemployment crisis.
According to Stagehand, the fund has been able to provide some of the 20% of people (more than 1,500 workers) who have fallen through the gaps in governmental support with grants of up to £500 for food and housing bills.
PPL’s second donation to the fund will enable Stagehand to open the fifth round of applications for crew in need.
“PPL and live event production workers are at opposite ends of the music business,” says Mike Lowe, Stagehand Chair of Trustees.
“It is so heartening that PPL regard the entire business as one ecosystem”
“It is so heartening that PPL regard the entire business as one ecosystem and at a time when our sector is on its knees, offers help. PPL was the first major organisation to make a significant donation, helping to raise awareness of the plight, as well as kick-starting the campaign and inspiring other contributions.
“PPL’s most recent donation will continue to help live events crew through these extremely difficult times, and it is a very appreciated endorsement for the work that Stagehand is doing.
Peter Leathem, PPL CEO, says: “The pandemic has been an incredibly tough time for many, but it has also shown our industry at its best. Stagehand, as well as other hardship funds from the likes of the Music Managers Forum, Help Musicians, the Musicians’ Union, AIM and the BPI, has brought the music community together to help those facing financial difficulties. PPL is proud to continue to support these funds. We hope this latest contribution to Stagehand will help crew and production workers while the live industry plans its return.”
Stagehand has launched a number of fundraising initiatives including the ILoveLive prize draw, which raised more than £300k from the auction of unique live music memorabilia, and Prints for Music, which saw celebrated photographers donate iconic music photography to raise money.
Donate to the Stagehand Covid-19 relief fund here.
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Crew Nation raises $15m for out-of-work technicians
Crew Nation has so far raised US$15 million to help 15,000 out-of-work crew members, across 36 countries, who were impacted by the rescheduled or cancelled shows due to take place through June.
The global live music relief fund was launched with an initial $5m donation from Live Nation, which then matched the next $5 million in donations from artists, fans and employees for a total contribution of $10m from the company.
Artists including Justin Timberlake, Anderson .Paak and Kesha made contributions towards the fund, while partners and brands including Live From The Drive-In, Lollapalooza and Governors Ball came up with creative ways to encourage donations.
“Concerts wouldn’t be possible without the many crew members working behind the scenes every step of the way and we want to make sure that as independent workers, they get the support they need from both the industry and the government,” says Michael Rapino, president and CEO of Live Nation.
“Live Nation is proud to be among the many artists, donors, partners and fans who are helping drive this mission forward and support those who make the magic of live possible.”
“Concerts wouldn’t be possible without the many crew members working behind the scenes every step of the way”
The fund is powered by charitable organisation Music Forward Foundation, which will select recipients of funding “based on an objective determination of need”. Live Nation employees are not eligible to receive funding.
“The support we have received has been overwhelming, but the number of people who still need assistance is staggering and our work is nowhere near done,” said Nurit Smith, executive director at Music Forward Foundation.
“The artist community has been so incredibly supportive and creative, utilising their resources and platforms to make personal donations and drum up contributions through the release of exclusive merch, new music, livestreamed performances and much more, and our hope is that it continues to keep rolling.”
Crew Nation is accepting applications from out-of-work crew members in phases, based on when shows were originally scheduled to play.
Currently, applications are open for those who have been financially impacted from concerts originally scheduled to take place in June 2020. The deadline to submit an application is 16 August.
The fund hopes to double its impact and raise at least $30m so that it can continue providing support for independent workers from the live music industry.
Anyone who wants to contribute can either donate money or buy limited-edition merch, and all proceeds will go directly to the fund.
UTA commits $1m to social justice causes
United Talent Agency (UTA) has announced a series of internal initiatives aimed at further increasing diversity and inclusion across the agency globally.
The actions – which are accompanied by a donation of US$1 million to organisations fighting for social justice – are the result of “efforts in recent weeks, led by leaders, colleagues of colour and allies across UTA, to have candid and thoughtful dialogue about the internal steps necessary to make meaningful and sustainable progress toward a more equitable community”, according to the agency, which has offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Nashville and Miami.
Referencing the recent movement towards greater ethnic diversity in the music industry, UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer explains: “The past few weeks have shown that we must address the pace in which we’ve approached our diversity and inclusion efforts. It’s our responsibility to move forward with immediacy to ensure change happens, as a company and as individuals.
“I am incredibly grateful to my colleagues who stepped up and spoke truth to power. They are making UTA an even better place to work and helping drive true and meaningful progress well beyond our four walls.”
The $1m financial commitment will be provided over four years, and overseen by the nonprofit UTA Foundation.
“We are putting our stake in the ground publicly to hold ourselves accountable”
The new internal initiatives, meanwhile, include:
- Observing ‘Juneteenth’ as an annual holiday and closing all US offices on that day
- Increasing representation of people of colour throughout UTA, including senior-level positions (as demonstrated by the recent promotion of agents Chelsea McKinnies and Emerson Davis to partners)
- Unconscious bias training for all UTA employees
- A commitment to increasing wages for assistants and other entry-level staff, to be implemented over time
- Actively pursuing and considering candidates of colour for every available position
- Creating a specialised, identity-based mentoring programme for employees of colour
- Reshaping the agent training programme to focus on increasing retention and promotion of employees of colour and other “underrepresented” colleagues
- Creation of an internal leadership council comprising a “diverse coalition of colleagues from all levels” to influence company culture and policy
Additionally, Project Impact, which sees the agency close for a ‘day of action’ on community projects, will this year focus solely on issues of social justice and racial inequality.
UTA’s executive director of inclusion, Shanique Bonelli-Moore, says: “We believe diverse backgrounds and life experiences influence positive perspectives and great storytelling, yielding broader opportunities for our clients. Much of this work is already underway.
“It won’t all happen overnight. But we are putting our stake in the ground publicly to hold ourselves accountable and are implementing systems to sustain urgency as we pursue lasting change.”
Phil Anschutz donates $1m to Elton John LGBT Fund
AEG chairman Phil Anschutz has donated US$1 million to the Elton John Aids Foundation’s LGBT fund, which supports LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender) people in need in sub-Saharan Africa.
Anschutz – who has previously come under fire for donating money to allegedly anti-LGBT organisations in the US – says the grant is “intended to emphasise that we support freedom of all people to live their lives peacefully, without interference from others”, and expresses his regret if his money has previously gone towards working against LGBT rights.
“Sexuality is among the most personal of issues, and it has never been my intent to weigh in on people’s private lives,”Anschutz (pictured) says in a statement to Variety. “I support the rights of all people and oppose discrimination and intolerance against the LGBTQ community.
“I see this as a matter of basic human rights”
“I see this as a matter of basic human rights. Our foundation supports a broad range of philanthropic causes. I regret if any money given to a charity for other purposes may have indirectly worked against these values. That was not my intention, it does not reflect my beliefs and I am committed to making sure our internal processes are strengthened so that it does not happen again.”
“The donation by Phil to EJAF is in keeping with the special connection and consistently supportive, collaborative relationship I have developed with AEG for more than a decade,” adds Sir Elton. “We will put his donation to work to ensure that vulnerable groups are not left behind in the fight against HIV/Aids.
“This funding will help our programmes provide life-saving work for LGBT communities around the world, starting with the LGBT fund in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Fabric #saveourculture fund tops £140k
Fabric has raised over £140,000 in donations since Friday as it prepares a legal challenge to its recent closure.
The campaign fund, dubbed #saveourculture, will go towards “help[ing] retain a small Fabric team, [keeping] the venue in hibernation and to prepare a legal battle to re-open and stop this police oppression”, says the 2,500-cap. London club, which earlier this month had its licence revoked by Islington Council for what the council called a “culture of drug use [Fabric] appears incapable of controlling”.
At the time of writing, the club had raised £143,823.
The top backers so far are Nick Gold, of The Box cabaret club in Soho, and The Warehouse Project director Rich McGinnis, both of whom have pledged £5000 each.
Says the campaign page:
It will be an expensive battle, and we need you to stand with us and contribute to the campaign fund…
Do you believe that youth culture and music are an essential part of life? If the answer’s ‘yes’, join the fight to save our culture.
Do you see the importance in having safe, well-run spaces to come together and express ourselves in? If the answer’s ‘yes’, join the fight to save our culture.
Do you realise how much London has suffered already, and just what’s at stake if we stand by and do nothing? If the answer’s ‘yes’, join the fight to save our culture.
Just think about that ticket you would have bought these last six weeks we’ve been shut, or those few beers at the bar – all donations are absolutely vital and we know that together we can do this.
Donate to our campaign to #saveourculture today. It could be your last chance.