Sam Smith, Blossoms, Fontaines D.C., Newton Faulkner and Flogging Molly will join more than 40 international artists uniting to raise vital funds to fight food poverty, help struggling music acts and entertainment industry workers.
The exclusive two-day virtual festival called Music Feeds has been organised by ethical retailer Co-op and Everybody Belongs Here, the promoter working to do good in the entertainment industry. Music Feeds will run over two nights on 28 and 29 January 2021, with all net profits being donated to three key charities: FareShare (helping to provide around 2.5 million meals), Stagehand and Help Musicians. As part of Music Feeds, Co-op will donate a total of £1m.
Co-op has campaigned hard to raise awareness of food poverty and was one of the first signatories to Marcus Rashford’s new Food Insecurity Taskforce. Co-op and Marcus first joined forces to help tackle the issue back in summer 2020 when the footballer starred in the retailer’s television advert helping to raise funds for the food charity FareShare.
As a third national lockdown is in place across the UK, the reality of food poverty is hitting every kind of household, including those of skilled live event workers who have now been left without income for 10 months.
Stagehand and Help Musicians have been working tirelessly to help the industry’s workforce stay afloat during these uncertain times via financial hardship funds. Donations from Music Feeds will significantly help these relief efforts go further.
Co-op Food CEO, Jo Whitfield said: “Hunger knows no borders and neither should our response. All year round, Co-op works to tackle food hunger and we’re thrilled to be uniting with outstanding musicians from across the world to turn up the volume on the issue. The pandemic has brought a sharper focus on issues such as food poverty and many in the music industry have seen their livelihoods disappear overnight because of lockdown restrictions. It’s right that we should lend our support and co-operate with musicians to raise awareness and raise funds for such vital causes.”
Stagehand Chair of Trustees, Mike Lowe said: “Stagehand is very thankful to have been named as a beneficiary of this innovative and much-needed initiative. As a charity, we have spent months fundraising and distributing grants to live industry events workers most affected by the loss of livelihood due to the pandemic, helping them keep roofs over heads and food on tables. We have also been making them aware of food banks – most live industry workers have never had to use them before.
“We are hugely appreciative of the Co-op’s significant contributions to food banks and this activity is as significant to our cause as it is to the public at large. Britain is battling food poverty like never seen before. With Everybody Belongs Here and Co-op bringing Music Feeds to the masses, we are able to continue feeding and supporting live event professionals facing severe hardship due to the decimation of the concert touring and festival industries.”
The two-day online concert – which was able to utilise touring crews and was filmed across rehearsal locations in London, Manchester and Glasgow – will broadcast fresh footage of all artists. Each performance has been created in a Covid-safe environment, delivering high-end production values.
Co-op’s support for Music Feeds comes hot off the heels of an announcement that the retailer will join forces with Oak View Group (OVG) to develop the UK’s biggest and most exciting new arena in Manchester – Co-op Live. Around 100 years ago, Co-op built dance halls for the masses and even provided The Beatles with a venue in 1962. Now the convenience retailer has become a significant presence within the UK’s music scene. It has had pop-up shops at festivals such as Glastonbury and Live Nation’s Download, Creamfields, Latitude and Reading and Leeds Festivals.
Jo Whitfield explained: “Co-op is a growing part of the music scene and music lovers can enjoy great acts at Music Feeds in the knowledge they are acting towards creating lasting change on big issues, including fairer access to food.”
Music industry veteran, and James band member, Saul Davies, is the creative powerhouse behind Music Feeds. He said: “At Music Feeds you’ll get never-seen performances from leading artists, uncover new bands, and get up-close and personal with interviews. The festival will be broadcast to your Smart TV and devices over two nights, and festival goers can even join the sofa mosh-pit via the simultaneous Twitter listening party. Additional artists who have been unable to perform have donated unique items for the companions Music Feed charity auction.”
Davies added: “With a single £15 ticket giving access to both nights, the festival is priced to allow as many people as possible to support the causes. There is also the option for festival goers to donate more. We are grateful to our ticketing partner DICE, who have significantly reduced their charges to only recover their costs. So, if you want to take positive action to end hunger, buy a ticket for yourself, buy one for a friend or donate one to charity, but please help by buying a ticket at MusicFeeds.org.”