Entertainment industry stands up for 12 million people out of work due to COVID-19
Live Events Lift Up Festival, also known as LEVL UP Fest, has announced that Blake Shelton, Dave Matthews, Roger Daltrey, and Storme Warren, co-host of SiriusXM The Highway will join more than 25 artists and entertainers who are stepping up for the 12 million people who work behind the scenes of live entertainment and events across the United States. Livestreaming from the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Wednesday, December 16th at 8:30 pm Eastern, LEVL UP Fest is a benefit for the entertainment and events industry by the entertainment and events industry. Just in time for the holidays, through a night of music and stories, LEVL UP Fest will entertain the audience while lifting up and giving hope to a workforce that has been decimated due to the global pandemic. The industry has collapsed under the weight of COVID-19, leaving nearly 10 million event pros unemployed and uncertain about what their future holds.
Blake Shelton, who earlier this week earned his 28th No. 1 hit on the country charts with “Happy Anywhere”, joins the lineup along with Dave Matthews, Jimmie Allen, Jason Mraz, Michael Ray, Shy Carter, The War And Treaty, John Rzeznik from the Goo Goo Dolls, Dispatch, Keala Settle, Mt. Joy, Augustana, Indigo Girls, Lucie Silvas, Annie Bosko, Bre Kennedy, CJ Hammond & Sloane, and Veridia. Public, Michael Cerveris, the McCrary Sisters and singer/songwriter, Sam Wade are also added.
Along with the McCrary Sisters, Wade will deliver a very special debut performance of an original song that he co-wrote with LEVL UP music supervisor and long-time composer/conductor for The Who, Keith Levenson. The anthemic song, aptly titled “12 Million” was written by the pair for LEVL UP Fest as a tribute to all those that the event seeks to represent.
Making special appearances will be rock legend, Roger Daltrey, actor/comic and poet, Steve Connell, Michael McDonald, Kenny G, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, All-American Rejects’ Nick Wheeler, Greta Van Fleet, Adam Gardner from Guster, Ray Parker Jr., Jerry Dipizzo from OAR, Taye Diggs, The Fray’s Ben Wysoki, the Irish rock band, The Harleys accompanied by Dublin Gospel Choir, Jim Sheridan of Ireland’s The Late Late Show and Co-Host of SiriusXM The Highway, Storme Warren. Also from SiriusXM, Nicole Ryan from Hits 1 The Morning Mash Up will host the evening live from The Ryman.
“Creating an incredible live show is what our team, and all of our production partners, do best,” comments LEVL UP Fest Co-Founder and SVP of Sports & Fan Entertainment for PRG, Eileen Valois. “Speaking up, drawing attention to ourselves…not so much. We’re an industry of people who work behind the curtain, blending into the background, making our artists, entertainers, and guests the focal point in everything we do. We’re humbled to now have so many of them supporting us, showing their appreciation for their crews, and amplifying the message of Live Events Lift Up Festival.”
LEVL UP Fest will be a free virtual event and featured on NoCap Shows and Twitch – both of which are part of the growing list of supporters for LEVL UP Fest.
The LEVL UP Fest team says their top priority is to support the people behind live events. They also feel the lessons learned in 2020 demand that they pay attention to coming back stronger, more resilient and more diverse than they were before. To achieve this, they’ve named three beneficiaries for funds raised by the festival. MusiCares and The Roadie Clinic are two of those organizations whose focus is on critical assistance in times of need and mental health and wellness support. With an eye on the future, LEVL UP Fest named the Country Music Association Foundation (CMAF) as their third beneficiary with funds to be used for the CMA EDU program, supporting LEVL UP’s goal of strengthening and diversifying the industry through outreach, education and job placement. Donations can be made at any time now through December at liveeventsliftup.org. The LEVL UP Fest team will also launch their merch store this week on their website. East Wind Screenprint has partnered with the LEVL UP Fest to design merchandise and will donate 50% of the net proceeds back to the Festival.