FM 102.1 raises over $ 25,000 for struggling Milwaukee concert halls
Following a 24-hour radiothon, a silent auction loaded with autographed instruments and posters, as well as special messages and performances from several rock stars, WLUM-FM (102.1) succeeded to raise $ 25,482.61 for five struggling Milwaukee theater operators over the weekend.
The alternative rock station orchestrated the fundraising effort Friday and Saturday in light of the shutdown of the live music industry, broadcasting live from five closed venues – The Rave, The Pabst Theater, Shank Hall , the Cactus Club and the Cooperage, whose owners were all beneficiaries of the fundraising effort. The silent auction included items like an autographed Blink-182 guitar and dozens of autographed local show posters by artists including Fall Out Boy and the Lumineers.
The station also posted special messages online from Josh Dun of Twenty One Pilots and Jack Met of AJR, as well as exclusive virtual performances by Head and the Heart and Robert DeLong. Chicago band Friday Pilots Club also performed an acoustic and socially aloof set from the Rave during the broadcast.
Touring artists are largely off the road and venues closed in Milwaukee and across the country since mid-March. Concert publication Pollstar estimates that the industry would lose nearly $ 9 billion if touring did not return to normal levels in 2020, which seems unlikely.
The crisis prompted the formation of the National Independent Venue Association in April, co-founded by Pabst Theater Group CEO Gary Witt. The organization is lobbying Congress for additional financial assistance, with more than 90% of its nearly 2,000 members saying in May they would close within six months without additional support. Two Milwaukee sites, Fire on Water and Underground Collaborative, have already closed permanently due to the pandemic.
Donations are always accepted for the Pabst Theater Group, the Rave, Shank Hall, the Cactus Club and the Cooperage via the FM 102.1 website.
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Piet also talks about concerts, local music and more on “TAP’d In” with Jordan Lee. Listen to it at 8 p.m. Thursdays on WYMS-FM (88.9) or wherever you get your podcasts.