Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Nepal Earthquake Benefit

The devastating earthquake that hit Nepal in April 2015 was a tragedy of monumental proportions. Thousands died. Many seemingly-unaffected people from outside of the region wanted to help, and wondered how they could do so. The prevailing wisdom was that while the gesture of providing labour, goods etc was appreciated, what was really needed was money. As much as possible.
What better way for musicians to raise money is there than to play a benefit show?
Adelaide musician Ray Smith wanted to help. Within days of the quake, he had crystallised his vision of bringing local musicians together for a special night at the Governor Hindmarsh Hotel. He organised a slew of like-minded music makers, found tech and support crew prepared to help out, spoke to The Gov and, voila! The gig was on!
It was, truly, a wonderfully heart-warming night. More than a dozen acts took to the stage, presenting short-ish sets over a five-hour period. All kinds of people, playing all kinds of music.
Everyone present - musicians, crew, audience and staff - entered into the spirit of the occasion. It was one of the the most good-natured and  peaceful nights I have experienced in all my years of playing live music and going to gigs.
The evening raised around $5000 to help Nepalese relief efforts, donated via a few charities. Everyone involved provided their services for free, which meant that every cent raised through the door, in raffles etc was donated to the cause.
Sometimes it takes a terrible thing to help me see the good in people.