The National are launching a fundraiser to benefit the 12 members of their live crew who are now out of work after the band was forced to cancel a handful of dates because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Starting today, all profits from merch sales through the National’s webstore will be donated to the band’s crew members. The National will also pass along profits from new enrollments into their Cherry Tree fan club, as well as profits from any sales made through the exclusive Cherry Tree merch store.
Our crew are the lifeblood of our touring operation and have become family through the many years we’ve worked together. As uncertainty looms over the state of the live concert industry, we will direct all profits from merch sales through our webstore… pic.twitter.com/3zhJVyZiaw
— The National (@TheNational) March 24, 2020
So far, the National have been forced to cancel two shows in Tokyo and postpone a tour of New Zealand and Australia with Phoebe Bridgers to December. As of now, the band still has a North American trek scheduled to start this July, although the summer concert season remains in limbo amid efforts to control the coronavirus outbreak.
In the past few weeks, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on the live music industry, with a slew of shows and major festivals either being canceled or postponed. While many smaller and independent artists have been hit hard by this, it’s also been devastating for behind-the-scenes personnel, many of whom are freelance contractors that rely exclusively on touring for their income.
In recent weeks, several music industry groups, including the Recording Academy and the Music Artists Coalition, have sent letters to Congress and President Donald Trump requesting government aid specifically for struggling industry members. The Recording Academy and its charitable foundation, MusiCares, have also set up a $2 million COVID-19 relief fund for those in financial need.