BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — A virtual concert featuring more than a dozen Colorado-based artists, plus national performers and bands, will serve a much greater purpose than just upbeat music on Feb. 28 — its proceeds will provide relief for Coloradans affected by the Marshall Fire.
The Boulder Fire Recovery Benefit Concert was announced on Tuesday during a press conference.
“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,” Gov. Jared Polis said. “We’re thrilled to be partnering together with AEG, Community Foundation Boulder County, and Colorado creatives whose talents serve as a powerful balm during a difficult time. 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.”
Tickets, which are $10 each, are available on the concert website starting Feb. 9 at 8 a.m. MT. The pre-recorded virtual concert will start on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022 at 7 p.m. MT. It will be put on by AEG Presents and will be hosted by Nick Forster of eTown.
The Marshall Fire on Dec. 30 forced evacuations for the entire town of Superior and city of Louisville, and ended up destroying more than 1,000 homes, marking it as the most destructive fire in Colorado's history. The state’s website estimates home and business damage to be around $580 million, though officials have discussed estimates of up to $680 million.
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.
The concert lineup includes about 20 artists, who are all performing free of charge, with more coming soon:
- Ben Rector
- Lake Street Dive
- Sarah Jarosz
- Ryan Tedder
- Dave Matthews
- Michael Franti
- The Avett Brothers
- Trey Anastasio
- Jim James of My Morning Jacket
- Old Crow Medicine Show
- Yonder Mountain String Band
- Amos Lee
- Brittany Howard
- Lyle Lovett
- Steve Miller
- Nathaniel Rateliff of The Night Sweats
- The Motet
- The String Cheese Incident
- Rob Drabkin
- Wynnona Judd and Cactus Moser
- Leftover Salmon
- Raquel Garcia
The money will benefit the Community Foundation Boulder County, which, as of Tuesday, has raised more than $27 million from 65,000 donors, Polis said.
"(The foundation has) been the way that a lot of the funds are getting out to the people in need and filling gaps that exist," Polis said.
Tatiana Hernandez, CEO of the foundation, also announced two grants — one to Impact on Education and one to Boulder Jewish Family Service — to support mental health needs in the county. The grants total more than $500,000 in additional support for Boulder County residents.
“While our vision to rebuild remains steadfast, there are many steps we need to take together. We’re grateful for the tens of thousands of donors to our fund, and Gov. Polis’ team and AEG for putting together an event that reminds us that Boulder County still needs your help to ease the burden that so many people are feeling right now,” Hernandez said.
She said this event will not only help bring the community together, but will help ease the burden from the fire.
In the past month, the foundation has distributed $7 million in direct financial assistance to people affected by the Marshall Fire, Hernandez said. About 90% of the households impacted by the fire accepted the foundation's help, she said. To apply for assistance, visit BoCo.org/MarshallFire.
During the concert's announcement Tuesday, Polis said he wanted to thank the performing artists for participating, noting how it's been a difficult two years for many of them.
"For artists to really dig deep and say, 'We want to help' at a time when many of them are struggling really shows their deep commitment to Colorado and to the victims of the Boulder County Marshall Fire," Polis said.
Each artist will perform one or two songs, said AEG Presents chairman emeritus Chuck Morris. The link after a ticket purchase will last a month, so viewers are welcome to rewatch, he said.
"I've dealt with artists for almost 50 years," Morris said. "These were the easiest phone calls I've ever made. People were aware of this horrible tragedy... They all jumped and almost everybody said yes. It's been a wonderful thing to make those calls and see how many people have jumped on it, which makes me very proud to spend my life supporting the music business."
Nathaniel Rateliff of The Night Sweats was the first person to hop onto the growing list of performers, Polis said.
Rateliff said his band is always focused on community building and helping around Colorado.
"A lot of these homes that were destroyed are middle-class families that are underinsured, so we really want to help keep people located where they are and keep them from having to relocate," Rateliff said. "But hopefully this is an opportunity for all of us to reconsider how much the wildfire season is going to continue to worsen and what we're going to do about water conservation here in Colorado and in the western states... We're excited to be here and hopefully we can do an old-fashioned barn raising for this small community in Boulder."
As of Tuesday, the Small Business Administration 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 www.DisasterAssistance.gov or stop by the Disaster Assistance Center at 1755 S. Public Road in Lafayette.