July 1, 2010

Tonight! Attend a Gulf Coast music benefit

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Oil Spill by KK for  TEDxOilSpill

Photo credit: Kris Krug / Static Photography. View more photos from TEDxOil Spill Expedition on Flickr.

Guest post by Nic Adler

As I write this, up to 100 million gallons of oil has spewed into the gulf. As it continues to do so, it is destroying our fragile ecosystem and people’s livelihoods. We cannot just sit, watch the news and continue to say, “This is horrible!” without some taking some action. This is our collective tragedy, and we need to stand up and help wherever and however we can.

Who is helping the Gulf Coast region?

There are so many groups doing amazing work along the Gulf coastlines.  After days of due diligence and research, our co-producer, Socialbrite’s Sloane Berrent, came back to the group with multiple nonprofits to partner with and options. In the end, we zeroed in on the Gulf Restoration Network’s new initiative, Gulf Future, because we thought it best reflected our mission: Support the coastal and fishing communities, restore the marine and coastal environments and, perhaps most important, make people aware and responsible for what has happened in the Gulf so history does not repeat itself.

How are we raising money?

Since I own The Roxy in Los Angeles, which puts on a fair number of benefit events, naturally I thought we should throw a benefit concert. But then I thought, What if we reached out to our neighbor businesses to see if we could all work together and really take something as simple as a benefit concert and turn it into a wave of action? I then reached out to Casey Phillips, a New Orleans native and someone who had a real pulse of the community. Casey echoed my thoughts, we went into action with Sloane, The Roxy’s Megan Jacobs and others, and we now have over 50 independent music venues and over 100 bands fighting for the cause.

All the venues will send their gate revenues from these shows directly to Gulf Restoration Network within 72 hours of our shows. Also, our donation widget sends funds directly to the Gulf Restoration Network’s account so we don’t ever touch the donations and they all go directly to the nonprofit partner. We’re making sure it gets into the hands of community groups like Bayou Grace and St. Bernard Community Center within weeks and we’ll be sharing that with those who made donations both online and through attending events through social networks and follow up blog posts with our partners.

So, please make a donation!

Attend a concert — or give online

The Roxy, The Viper Room, The Comedy Store and Tipitinas are among dozens of the nation’s best clubs and music venues that are coming together in solidarity to fundraise for gulf oil spill communities tonight. Plus, individuals have planned smaller events to support our efforts across 11 countries — it’s pretty incredible!

We’ve received an incredible outpouring of talent including:

Rebelution / Galactic / Kaki King / Mickey Avalon / Ben Lee / Guitar Shorty / Iglu & Hartly / Ivan Neville / Cisco & Shwayze / Walter Wolfman Washington  / Sarah Borges / Coco Robicheaux / Beardo / Wicker / Lost Bayou Ramblers / Rotary Downs / Daryl Hannah / Dave Faustino/ Ed Begley Jr.

To find an event in your area, see our Meetup Everywhere page, where there are over 90 events listed in 13 countries.

Please consider donating to support Gulf Coast fishermen if you can’t attend a show tonight.

Although I’m unsatisfied with the clean-up efforts and the financial support that the fisherman have received so far, I am inspired to know that all over the world people are signing up and either giving their time and effort or donating money to make a difference in the spill zone. That gives me great hope that when we look to our neighbors, no matter how close or far away they may be, we will always come together to help the ones in need — that is what our great country is best at. What we have put together is only the beginning of a long line of projects that others will continue to do until every drop of oil is cleaned up, every bird and fish healthy and every person who has been directly affected by this has been compensated.

We can only accept yelling at the TV after we have done something to make difference so please get involved anyway you can. The time is now!

Nic Adler is co-producer for tonight’s events and owner of The Roxy in Los Angeles. Sloane Berrent is partnering with him, Casey Phillips and the entire Gulf Coast Benefit Team for tonight’s shows around the country (and now around the world).

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