When: Sat., May 3, 7 p.m. 2014
Band Together began as a reaction: In September 2001, a cadre of Triangle residents hoped to feel like they could help in the aftermath of 9/11, to overcome somehow a pervasive sense of national powerlessness. They wanted to raise money to send to victims and the emergency workers who'd helped them, yes, but they also needed, as organizer Danny Rosin remembers, "a sense of getting out of your house, to stop crying and start repairing." So with no experience promoting or producing shows, Rosin and some pals booked a few bands to play in the commons between the museums of science and history in downtown Raleigh. They flew in some firefighters from New York, recruited corporate sponsors and raised $60,000. "It was not only successful from a fundraising standpoint, but it was successful because it was fun," he says.
During the subsequent dozen years, Band Together produced 13 more concerts that, collectively, raised nearly $3 million for a variety of local nonprofits and international charitable causes—tsunami- and hurricane-relief, the folk-preserving Music Maker Relief Foundation and Raleigh-based development-disabilities foundation the Tammy Lynn Center. This weekend, for the first time ever, they'll attempt to raise more than $1 million with a single concert at Walnut Creek Amphitheater. The money will go to Communities in Schools, an organization that works to help keep kids in school through direct tutoring and mentor programs. Hall & Oates will headline, while the foot-stomping, soul-shouting squeals of Robert Randolph & The Family Band promise one of the most energetic sets in Band Together's history. DJ Logic and Jack the Radio open.
For Rosin, the now-proactive fundraising remains fun (if more logistically challenging than before), but he's most excited about the work the money will do: "It's insane to me. I am so proud to think about where those dollars will go, to people who need it." —Grayson Haver Currin