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Going, going, gone: Musicians turn to benefit auctions to raise funds for COVID-19 relief

/ 03:32 PM August 06, 2020
green day, cooler

Green Day drummer Tré Cool is one of numerous musicians who has customized a Yeti cooler for a charity auction benefiting COVID-19 relief efforts. Image: Courtesy of Yeti and 32auctions

As the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the music industry, multiple companies have come to the rescue with unconventional initiatives to support musicians in need.

That’s the case of Texas-based outdoor brand Yeti, which has recently announced a partnership with live entertainment company Live Nation to support its global relief fund for live music crews, Crew Nation.

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Yeti has recruited around 40 international musicians and bands to customize several editions of their new Roadie 24 Hard Cooler, all of which will be offered at auction through Monday, August 10.

Among them are The National, Green Day, American soul singer-songwriter Leon Bridges, Canadian singer Jessie Reyez, Rascal Flatts, American country singer and actress Reba McEntire as well as Mötley Crüe founder and drummer Tommy Lee.

Some of the lots on offer feature an eclectic selection of merchandise, ranging from hoodies, refrigerator magnets and signed CDs.

While auction prices initially ranged between $200 and $700, some personalized coolers have reached over $2,000 at the time of writing. Thirty-six bidders have raised the price of Zac Brown Band’s customized cooler to a staggering $5,500.

“Many live music road crews no longer have health insurance and do not qualify for unemployment or government subsidies. They need support now more than ever as a result of COVID-19,” Yeti’s VP of consumer marketing Bill Neff told Fast Company.

From coolers to instruments

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Similarly, multiple Grammy-winner Alicia Keys is auctioning a signed Steinway & Sons piano to help music people affected by the coronavirus pandemic through MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.

“I’m super excited that this piano — which has so many personal memories for me is going to be auctioned for MusiCares,” Keys said in a statement.

The turquoise Boston 126E piano, which the singer-songwriter recently used in a digital ad promoting the New York 2020 Census, is up for grabs until Saturday, August 15.

Twenty-two bidders have currently pushed the price of the instrument to $27,000 via Charity Auctions Today, with all proceeds from the sale going to MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. NVG

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TAGS: Alicia Keys, Auction, Charity, coronavirus, Fundraising, Green Day, relief funds, The National
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