ZB

Kiwi Musicians walk to support workers hit by gig cancellations

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 21 Apr 2022, 4:17pm
RoadyForRoadies raised more than $20,000 in 2018. Photo / Supplied
RoadyForRoadies raised more than $20,000 in 2018. Photo / Supplied

Kiwi Musicians walk to support workers hit by gig cancellations

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 21 Apr 2022, 4:17pm

Sir Dave Dobbyn, Neil Finn, Hollie Smith are some of the Kiwi musicians who tomorrow will be taking part in the fundraising walk RoadyForRoadies, to raise money for live music road crews who have been hit hard by cancellations and restrictions because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The musicians, along with a number of other people, will walk the 16km of the Coast to Coast walk, from Onehunga to downtown Auckland. 

RoadyForRoadies NZ raised more than $20,000 for live music road crews in 2018 and organisers are hopeful this year will see an even greater turnout. 

"Look, it's been a bloody tough year for the people in our industry," says music promoter and former The Angels drummer Brent Eccles. 

"I've relied on roadies all my career as a musician and promoter, so it feels awesome to be able to do something to help them out." 

Eccles came up with the idea for RoadyForRoadies back in 2018 with Morgan Donoghue, during one of their regular walks through Cornwall Park. The event has since grown to include locations in Christchurch and Dunedin as well and it's even been replicated in Australia. Eccles says the ethos remains the same: "it's all for a good cause". 

The money will hopefully go a long way towards helping road crews maintain their credentials. "You need updated credentials to drive a forklift or an articulated truck, or climb up a roof... it all this requires money and constant updating," Eccles says. 

"The roadies are at the bottom of the food chain on the production side. We can't do without them. They're often self-employed, part-timers, but we can't do without them," he adds. 

Anyone who wants to join RoadyForRoadies can choose to take part on the full 16km walk or do a shorter 5km version if the full 16km feels too daunting. 

Tickets are still available to purchase to take part in the walk. 

The walk finishes at The Tuning Fork in Spark Arena, where entertainment and refreshments will be provided. 

For those who can't join the walk, a Givealittle page has also been set up, taking donations to help road crews who might be going through tough times. 

"It hasn't been an easy few years, to be honest," says Brooke Paterson, a roadie who has worked in the industry for six years and on shows including Elton John, Paul McCartney, Phil Collins and Foo Fighters. 

"The lack of gigs has meant we're struggling - not just with money but also mentally and emotionally. There's just hardly any opportunities to pick up crew work at the moment. That's pretty difficult to handle." 

"The dedication and hard work of road crews is just legendary," says four-time New Zealand Music Awards winner Hollie Smith, who will be taking part in the event tomorrow. 

"We'd never be able to put on the shows we do without the people behind the scenes, so being part of this fundraiser is the least we as artists can do to give back."