Fundraising walk RoadyForRoadies is running again in Auckland on Fri 29 April, with Kiwi musicians Sir Dave Dobbyn, Neil Finn, Hollie Smith, and others lending a hand for the cause.
Supporters will trek the 16km Coast to Coast walk from Onehunga to downtown Auckland to raise funds for live music road crews hit hard by cancellations and restrictions since the beginning of the pandemic. A shorter 5km walk is also available for those who aren’t sure they want to commit to the full 16km.
In 2018, RoadyForRoadies NZ raised over $20,000 for the cause, and organisers hope that 2022 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.”
Signups cost between $35 (“I’d like to help out) to $100 (“My boss is paying”), with all proceeds being administered by charity MusicHelps to support road crews who might be going through rough times with no union support.
"It hasn't been an easy few years, to be honest," says Brooke Paterson, a roadie who has worked in the industry 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."
With the finish line at The Tuning Fork in Spark Arena, entertainment and refreshments will be provided for walkers to enjoy the rest of their Friday afternoon. Organisers welcome Auckland businesses looking to sign up their teams to get some fresh air and socialise for a good cause.
“The dedication and hard work of road crews is just legendary,” says four-time New Zealand Music Awards winner Hollie Smith. “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.”
“Working in the music industry can be made up of high highs, and sometimes low lows,” says Smith. “Being a key part of a massive show is an incredible feeling, but it’s not always like that - it’s not a fixed income. Looking after road crews who rely on live events will help keep the Kiwi music industry alive through sh*t like this pandemic.”
The RoadyForRoadies 2022 walk is a family-friendly event and a safe, relaxing environment for people to enjoy a walk around Auckland’s coast for a good cause.
Tickets will go on sale on 21 March at 12pm from Ticketmaster.
More information can be found on the RoadyForRoadies New Zealand website.
If you want to support but can’t make it to the event, you can make a donation through the RoadyForRoadies GiveALittle page.