Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Phoebe Bridgers and LCD Soundsystem are among a number of artists creating new bicycles to help support live music crew affected by COVID-19.
The artists have worked with manufacturer Brompton to create custom one-off bikes which will be auctioned off for Crew Nation, the charitable fund from Live Nation helping those in the music industry who have been out of work during the pandemic.
Also involved in the project, which will see the custom bikes auctioned off via Greenhouse Auctions, are Khruangbin, Dinosaur Jr, Oh Wonder, Underworld, Sub Pop records, Enrique Iglesias, Nathan East and Neko Case.
Get all the details on the new bikes and the forthcoming auction, which will begin on May 28, here.
Of the project, Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien said: “Thank you to Brompton for asking us to be a part of their campaign to raise funds for Crew Nation… We love our crew and we love our Brompton bikes.”
The band’s long-time visual artist Stanley Donwood added: “I’m ridiculously happy to have been asked to design a Brompton bike that’ll be auctioned to raise money (and awareness) for Crew Nation.
“Brompton bikes are fantastic zippy folding freedom machines and crews are the unsung heroes of every gig, festival or live events that you’ve ever been to.”
“We love the vibrancy the music scene brings to the cities we call home, so we’ve joined forces with Crew Nation to raise money for the countless members who work behind the scenes to make live music happen,” Tevis Jory of Brompton said of the project.
Greenhouse Auctions founder Shlomi Rabi added: “It is an honour for Greenhouse Auctions to host the sale of unique Brompton bikes to benefit Crew Nation. Both entities must be commended for coming together to benefit the music community, combining the power of sound with environmentally conscious transportation to create this exciting charitable event.
At Greenhouse, we share their values of empowerment and nurturing, particularly within vulnerable communities.”
Live Nation’s Crew Nation fund was established on March 31 last year and has been providing financial support for affected crew workers, after the pandemic sparked the widespread cancellation of festivals and concerts across the globe.
“Crew members are the backbone of the live music industry, and we hope you’ll join us in supporting them through this temporary intermission until we can once again unite millions around the world through the power of live music,” Live Nation said in a statement.
The new fund aims to provide support to all the backstage staff that are integral in concert production – including production managers, tour managers, sound engineers, lighting directors and many more.
A selection of live road crew recently spoke to NME about the pressures they’ve faced over the last year, as thousands of jobs and millions in income for the touring sector stood to be lost to Europe due to Brexit, while many of the self-employed and freelance workers in the sector are still without any help or support throughout the pandemic.
Rik Benbow, a stage manager of 40 years who has toured with Coldplay, Judas Priest, Aviici, Madness, George Michael and more, said: “I worry that a lot of crew who have moved into other jobs may not come back to the industry. A lot of them are worried that if they do return, things could just be shut down again. I worry whether there will be enough people to start the business back up again.”