Music

All In WA

A concert for COVID relief

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

With Washington state being the first COVID-19 hotspot in the nation—and thus the first to feel the profound economic impacts that have been the result—it was only a matter of time before the stars of its storied music scene got together and did something big.

That big something is All In WA: A Concert for COVID-19 Relief, produced in partnership with All In WA, Amazon, and Microsoft, that will take place at 7pm Weds., June 24, and is set to stream via the internet, will be shown locally on KING 5 and KONG TV, and will be made available on Amazon Prime for anyone who isn’t able to catch it live.

So what do you get when Seattle’s celebrities team up with its tech heavy hitters? A concert event that features the likes of Pearl Jam, Brandi Carlile, Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard (or “lord of the livestream” as the Seattle Times recently dubbed him), the Dave Mathews Band, Macklemore, Sleater-Kinney, Ciara, Noah Gunderson, Allen Stone, Mary Lambert, Bellingham favorite Sir Mix-A-Lot, and others.

But wait, there’s more.

Also making appearances will be Seahawk coach Pete Carroll (who will no doubt be real revved up for the occasion), the second-best Mariner to ever don the uniform (the best being Edgar Martinez, of course) Ken Griffey Jr., comedian Joel McHale, rabblerousing nerd Bill Nye the Science Guy, and a trio of iconic Seattle Wilsons: Russell, Rainn, and Nancy. Rumor has it Courteney Cox, Jeffery Dean Morgan, and more are additional ingredients that will be stirred into this star-studded stew.

The event hopes to get All In WA, the hub of charitable giving masterminded by Gov. Jay Inslee, closer to its goal of raising $65 million to offset the impacts of COVID-19 on Washington industries, businesses and residents. Donations can be made to All In WA itself, or earmarked to one of the nonprofits that exist under its umbrella, including the United Way of Whatcom County and the Whatcom Community Foundation. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has promised to match individual donations under $1 million, up to a total of $25 million. The event will also signal the official launch of the Black Future Co-op Fund, which will address the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on the Black community and provide ongoing support into the future.

All of that sounds pretty great, especially given how starved so many of us are for the live entertainment that hallmarks a typical Pacific Northwest summer.

However, at the risk of looking a gift concert in the mouth, I have some questions.

I perused the list of the organizations that will be the beneficiaries of All In WA funds, and none of them are geared toward addressing the hardships faced by our live music venues, a situation that grows more dire by the day. It seems like a fairly large oversight for Pearl Jam to sign on for a benefit and not use some of their not-inconsiderable leverage as a platform to save the very stages that gave them their start. I am willing to believe that perhaps the musical artists in question—all of which were nurtured by Seattle music venues—will direct some of their personal energy and wealth toward this effort in the near future.

Which brings us to Bezos. While his much-vaunted $25 million match seems like a lot of money, in reality, that’s the amount Bezos amasses in a little less than three hours of work. It sure seems like a pittance for a guy who is generating wealth during the COVID-19 crisis like a proper war profiteer. Seriously, he could donate $25 billion to relief efforts—which would make a real difference for just about everyone affected by the pandemic—and still be on track to become a trillionaire during his lifetime.

But that’s probably just my bad attitude talking. I should just sit back, stop thinking so hard and enjoy the concert.

For more info about All In WA, head to http://www.allinwa.org

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