The Marshall Fire Benefit Concert, which will become available for online viewing at 7 pm tonight (Monday), is already more than halfway toward its goal of raising $1 million for victims of the most devastating fire in Colorado history, promoter Chuck Morris said.
The concert can be accessed for $10 at marshallfirebenefit.veeps.com and will remain watchable to purchasers through 7 pm Tuesday.
The three-hour concert will feature an international lineup of stars from across eras and genres, including Dave Matthews, Lyle Lovett, Steve Miller and Wynona Judd, alongside a veritable who’s-who of Colorado music history, including Nathaniel Rateliff, The Lumineers, Gregory Alan Isakov, Yonder Mountain String Band, The String Cheese Incident, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Leftover Salmon and Ryan Tedder – lead singer of the pop rock band OneRepublic.
As of Friday, Morris estimated that about 6,000 tickets had been purchased so far, and that additional sponsorship funds had pushed total proceeds past the $500,000 mark. The concert was presented by AEG Presents and hosted by Nick Forster of eTown.
“Musicians have always been ready to lend a hand to raise money and to raise awareness,” Forster said. “Fighting for workers’ rights and civil rights, protesting wars, protecting family farms and protecting the environment – there has always been a soundtrack to the great social movements of our time.”
The devastating Dec. 30 winter wildfire, fueled by dry grass and 115-mph winds, destroyed 1,084 residential structures and damaged 149 others in Superior and Louisville, according to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management. The fire caused an estimated $680 million in losses.
“The next day, I got a text from Michael Franti from the yoga retreat he runs in Bali,” Morris said of the hip-hop social activist who has a huge fan base in Colorado. “He said, ‘What are you doing about the fires?’ And, ‘How can I help?’”
Morris is particularly excited for concert viewers to meet Raquel Garcia, a 15-year-old bilingual singer/songwriter he discovered from Boulder.
The rest of the concert lineup includes:
- Brittany Howard, lead vocalist and guitarist of Alabama Shakes
- Wynnona Judd and three-time Grammy nominee Cactus Moser
- Old Crow Medicine Show, Grammy-winning Americana string band based in Nashville
- Amos Lee, singer-songwriter from Philadelphia
- Trey Anastasio, lead guitarist of the rock band Phish
- Ben Rector, singer-songwriter from Nashville
- The Motet, funk, soul and jazz group based in Denver
- Lake Street Dive, multi-genre band formed in 2004 at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston
- The California Honeydrops, Bay Area R&B
- Rob Drabkin, singer-songwriter from Denver
- Sarah Jarosz, singer-songwriter from Wimberley, Texas
- Sam Bush, mandolinist and “King of Telluride”
- Kitchen Dwellers, bluegrass quartet from Montana
- Vinyl Kings, in homage to The Beatles
- Mihali, lead singer and guitarist for the Vermont rock quartet Twiddle
All of the artists self-submitted recordings for the concert ranging from professionally produced studio sessions to cell-phone selfies. Morris, chairman emeritus of AEG Presents Rocky Mountains, called the outpouring “one of the most remarkable things I have seen in my 48 years in the business. Historically, musicians have always stepped up, so I am not surprised by anyone you see on that lineup. This is such a great music community, not just here in Colorado but around the world.”
None of the artists are being paid to participate, Morris said. All funds raised will be donated to the Boulder County Wildfire Fund and administered through the Boulder County Community Foundation.
“Music itself can be healing, and the funds raised by this event will go a long way toward helping Coloradans impacted by the Marshall Fire to rebuild their lives and communities,” said Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who planned to watch the Monday night concert with Morris from the Governor’s Mansion. “If you’re able to donate to help our friends and neighbors who need our support now more than ever, this is a great opportunity to pay it forward while enjoying your favorite bands.”
The taped concert includes comments from Colorado Senator John Hickenlooper and Congressman Joe Neguse.
The concert is sponsored by the MDC/Richmond American Foundation, which contributed $250,000, Amazon, which contributed $50,000, the Tuchman Family Foundation, which contributed $50,000, and the Colorado Lottery, which contributed $10,000.
As of last week, the Small Business Administration had approved more than $72 million in disaster loans for homeowners and renters, and almost $3 million for businesses. In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency distributed $1.3 million in individual assistance. The deadline to apply for federal funds is March 2. Click here, and then click “Individuals and Families” on the left sidebar. Survivors can also apply for help at disasterassistance.gov or stop by the Disaster Assistance Center at 1755 S. Public Road in Lafayette.
This story will be updated throughout the evening.