As Coachella and Stagecoach have become the latest festivals to announce their official cancelation due to the pandemic, artists are finding ways to bring people together virtually. Musicians like 2 Chainz, T-Pain, Brittany Howard, and more will join together for Small Business Live, a virtual music festival benefitting Black-owned businesses.
Small Business Live unveiled its first way of talent Thursday. Along with T-Pain, 2 Chainz, and Brittany Howard, artists like Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, and Moon Taxi are joining the lineup. The livestream takes place June 20, but the virtual festival, organized by Superfly, intends to announce more artists on the bill in the near future.
All proceeds from Small Business Live will be donated to Accion Opportunity Fund, an organization that provides loans to small businesses founded by people of color and also supports immigrant-owned and women-owned businesses. In a statement, Accion Opportunity Fund’s CEO Luz Urrutia said business owners of color are oftentimes denied credit or charged higher interest rates:
“Entrepreneurs of color are denied credit more often and charged higher rates for money they borrow to fund their businesses. We need to accelerate support to underserved businesses in order to reach our full potential,” Urrutia said. “We have to decide what we want our Main Streets to look like when this is over, and we must act decisively to keep small businesses alive and ready to rebuild. This is a fun way to do something really important. Everyone’s support will make a huge difference to small business owners, their families and employees who have been devastated by this pandemic, the recession, and centuries of racism, xenophobia, and oppression.”
Superfly co-founder Rich Goodstone echoed Urrutia’s statement: “Three-and-a-half million small businesses are currently at risk of permanent closure due to COVID-19, with a disproportionate number of them being minority-owned,” Goodstone said. “We look forward to raising the profile of this issue by showcasing amazing music performances and the stories of small businesses across America that urgently need our support.”
Small Business Live kicks off 6/20 at 4 p.m. ET. Watch it here.