The wave of cancelations that has swept the globe due to the coronavirus has caused a lot of artists to lose their livelihoods. But it's always worth considering all of the people who work on tours that have lost their jobs as well, including not only roadies and sound techs but also booking agents and tour management. Now, a GoFundMe has been started with the express purpose of helping out those road crew members who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
The campaign was started by one Frank Fanelli, singer of now-defunct Long Island melodeath crew The World We Knew and owner of CAT Clothing. A former tour manager and merch guy himself, Frank is acutely aware of just how many people rely on touring for their bread and butter, and seeks to make sure those dudes get paid. For the GoFundMe, he's releasing a line of shirts labeled 'Merch Daddy', and he's splitting the money between anyone with proof that they've lost income as a touring crew member due to the coronavirus. The GoFundMe already has over $11,000 of its $20,000 goal, so Frank's definitely on the right track.
READ THIS: In the wake of coronavirus, it's time to step up and support our favorite bands
"For every $20 you donate, you’ll not only get one of the new 'Merch Daddy' t-shirts, but I’ll be splitting ALL the donations between everyone who can prove of the touring job they lost through the band themselves, the booking agents, or the management teams," explains the campaign's mission statement. "This will take time to sort through, but we’re all cooped up in our homes anyway, so we’ll stay busy with this work. If donations flourish, as a team we can hopefully chip away at rent, buy groceries, feed/our children, pay the phone bill, etc."
If you're able to, donations are being accepted at the campaign's GoFundMe page. Here are the shirt designs -- make sure you read the full dates, as they're pretty hilarious: