Outdoor accessories brand, YETI, says it raised more than $135,000 for out-of-work touring crews last week, thanks to a special auction of 42 of its signature coolers, each signed by a popular rock or country artist.
Artists including Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Green Day, The National and Jason Aldean all partnered with YETI to customize coolers for a special “One for the Roadies” auction benefiting road crews and venue staff who have been out of work since the coronavirus pandemic hit in March.
The auction concluded last Monday, with the highest bids reaching $6,025 for coolers customized by Eric Church (with an eagle clutching the country singer’s signature) and the Avett Brothers (adorned with doodles of guitars, snippets of positive sayings, and the band member’s signatures). The Zac Brown Band-themed cooler sold for $5,850 and also included a bundle of band merchandise and a Bluetooth speaker. Other participating artists included AWOL Nation, Thomas Rhett, Leon Bridges, Black Pumas, Margo Price, and Yola. All of the unique designs can be viewed on the “One for the Roadies” auction site.
As a result of the auction (including YETI’s $50,000 match), the company says it was able to raise $135,259 for Crew Nation and their efforts to support live music industry workers. Bids from the auction ended up being 1014% over retail value of the coolers (a YETI hard cooler starts at $199 regular price).
Crew Nation is a relief fund created by Live Nation to address the needs of touring and venue crews in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the precarious nature of this line of work, many crew members were not only left without health insurance and other benefits, but have also been unable to qualify for unemployment. Along with the money raised from fans, YETI pledged to match up to $50,000 of the money generated from this action.
If you are out of work due to the postponed or canceled live shows, you can apply for the relief fund here.