Colorado Rising is expected to raise more than $500,000 for Colorado flood relief.
September brought devastating floods to Colorado, resulting in nine fatalities and an estimated more than $2 billion in property damage. AEG Live Rocky Mountains and Live Nation are putting the power of music behind recovery efforts with their sold-out Colorado Rising benefit concert on Oct. 27 at the 6,500-capacity 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colo.
According to AEG Live Rocky Mountains President and CEO Chuck Morris, the lineup of Colorado musicians including members of the Lumineers, The Fray, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, and an appearance by Dave Matthews set this benefit apart.
“We have a great music community and we can’t thank the artists enough for contributing their time,” he said, adding that there was “no pitch to try to get the artists to play — everyone wanted to help.”
AEG Live Rocky Mountains and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment operate the facility in a partnership, Peak Entertainment. AEG Live Rocky Mountains isn’t charging for the use of the facility, and will donate food and beverage profits from the concert as well as ticket sales, parking and merchandise profits to The United Ways of Colorado Flood Recovery Fund.
“We’ve gone to all of our purveyors and all of them have come in and are working at a ‘cost-of-goods’ situation, from the merchandise sellers to the parking company to the sound and lighting company,” said Don Strasburg, VP and Sr. Talent Buyer at AEG Rocky Mountains.
Donating all of the proceeds means the company won’t make a cent putting on the benefit concert — a prospect that doesn’t bother Morris.
“We’ll not make any money from the benefit show, but shame on us if we don’t do something like this,” he said.
The full Colorado Rising lineup.
More than $100,000 has been raised for the event just from corporate donations and sponsorship.
“The Colorado United Way Network is honored to be the beneficiary of the Colorado Rising Benefit Concert,” said Christine Benero, president and CEO of Mile High United Way. “The generosity of AEG Live, Live Nation and the artists that have come together to raise awareness for long-term recovery efforts still needed in Colorado speaks to their love and commitment to our state.”
Benero added that she expects Colorado Rising will raise more than $500,000 for relief efforts.
Tickets ranged from $65 to $125 and sold out just one-and-a-half minutes after going on sale, Oct. 18.
“In my 43 years in the business I’ve never had a concert sell out this quickly,” said Morris.
The concert is presented by local media 97.3 KBCO and CBS4 Denver, as well as supported by The Gill Foundation’s Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado and CH2MHill.
One of Morris’ employees lost his entire house, while another worker’s apartment was completely flooded, which brought the impact of the floods home to the AEG Live Rocky Mountains offices. Morris said he and good friend John Hickenlooper, the governor of Colorado, had been discussing putting together a benefit since the first second of the floods.
“Coloradans unite during crisis — so does the music community. We are thrilled so many musicians are coming together for this flood relief concert,” Hickenlooper said in a press release. “We are grateful AEG Live, Live Nation and other community partners are stepping up to help Colorado communities impacted by the historic flooding.”
Strasburg said that it’s the job of the entertainment community not only to give people an outlet from the daily tolls of life, but also to step up and contribute during a crisis.
“It’s incumbent upon everybody who operates facilities and puts on entertainment to lead the charge when their communities are affected,” he said. “We hope that other people recognize, if they haven’t already, that it’s a critical part of our responsibility to offer help during crisis.”
Interviewed for this story: Christine Benero, (303) 561-2143; Chuck Morris and Don Strasburg, (720) 931-8700