If you watched the Super Bowl last night, you may have caught a glimpse of the Oxfam America logo at the end of the commercial featuring will.i.am’s remix of the Who’s “My Generation.” All proceeds from this high-profile new single will go to support Oxfam’s relief and recovery work in Haiti.
And will.i.am isn’t the only musician supporting Oxfam these days. Lots of bands, from chart-toppers to the relatively unknown, are hosting benefit concerts, putting out compilation CDs, recording public service announcements, and encouraging fans to donate via text message. My colleague Bob Ferguson blogged about some of these efforts a couple of weeks ago, and since then he’s been working with many more artists who want to contribute.
As a sometime music blogger, it amazes me to see these two worlds—music and NGO—collide in such unexpected ways. Then again, my fellow music geeks (uh, fans) are really passionate about the bands we love, so it only seems fitting to link that energy and dedication to a worthy cause.
Take Radiohead’s concert a couple of weeks ago in Los Angeles, where the band raised $572,000 to benefit Oxfam’s Haiti relief work. Fans bid in special auctions for tickets, and according to the Huffington Post, they paid an average of $440 each to see Radiohead perform at a smaller venue. Now that’s dedication. (For those of us who missed the Radiohead show, there are some great photos posted on Pitchfork Media, including a shot of Oxfam staffers in action.)
In the meantime, keep an eye on our website for more Oxfam and music news.