Musician starts CoFundMe campaign to support out of work tour crews

The effects of COVID-19 and its wider implications on jobs seem to be bringing out some really positive moves from people in the music industry so far. The latest is a campaign headed by Frank Fanelli who, like many musicians is directly affected by the closure of venues for the foreseeable future. Now he's taking action to help the touring crews whose financial lifelines have suddenly been cut as a result. 

As well as being the singer in US metal band The World We Knew, Frank owns a clothing company called CAT clothing, and has also spent 14 years making a living as a tour manager with various acts. 

"Hundreds of bands have cancelled tours, venue & crew personnel are out of jobs, clubs are shutting down and most of us don’t know where to turn," says Frank about his NOMAD campaign. 

"As I strongly encourage fans to continue buying new merch from your favorite artists due to cancellations, I’m also giving you an option to help out the crew members and roadies that help bring the shows you love to every city you see these bands in."

Frank's devised a plan that means donators get something back too.

(Image credit: Frank Fanelli / YouTube)

"Honestly, if there’s one thing I know how to do pretty well after all these years, it’s how to promote and sell a funny t-shirt concept," he explains. "So here’s the deal. A few years ago while working on the Vans Warped Tour, a friend of mine called me “The Merch Daddy” I guess due to my touring merch accolades, so I made a couple hundred dumb shirts with my face on them to sell for a good laugh. However, this time, I’m bringing back two new “Merch Daddy” tees to help others in need. 

For every $20 people contribute, they'll receive one of these "Merch Daddy" t-shirts 

For every $20 people contribute, they'll receive one of these "Merch Daddy" t-shirts  (Image credit: Frank Fanelli)

"For every $20 you donate, you’ll not only get one of the new “Merch Daddy” t-shirts, but I’ll be splitting ALL the donations between everyone who can prove of the touring job they lost through the band themselves, the booking agents, or the management teams. This will take time to sort through, but we’re all cooped up in our homes anyway, so we’ll stay busy with this work. If donations flourish, as a team we can hopefully chip away at rent, buy groceries, feed/our children, pay the phone bill, etc. 

"On the GoFundMe donation page, you’ll find a list of 40 of my personal friends and fellow touring crew members that lost their jobs recently due to the virus shutdown. This is just a fraction of the thousands out of work in the music industry from all over the world. 

"I want nothing more than to take this unexpected downtime and turn it into a positive"

"It’s packed with respected hardworking people who leave their homes and families to spend sometimes upwards of 8 - 10 months out of every year on the road.. so when all these tours got shut down, so did our livelihoods.  DONATIONS END AT THE END OF MARCH, so please help spread the word and donate what you can! I want nothing more than to take this unexpected downtime and turn it into a positive, so let’s put forth our best effort to make a difference in some lives instead of panicking. Thank you for your consideration, and don’t forget to wash your damn hands!"

Head over to Frank's GoFundMe here, which has already raised over $15,000 of its $20,000 goal. 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.