Fires

Star-studded benefit concert brings in $15 million for North Bay fires relief

Digging through the ashes near Coffey Park

Chris Bipes, his wife, Kim, and his neighbor, Craig Lowry, dig through the ashes of his home near Coffey Park in hopes of finding valuables such as his coin collection and other items on Monday in Santa Rosa.
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Chris Bipes, his wife, Kim, and his neighbor, Craig Lowry, dig through the ashes of his home near Coffey Park in hopes of finding valuables such as his coin collection and other items on Monday in Santa Rosa.

Musicians and sports stars took to the stage to lift spirits and raise money for North Bay fire victims, firefighters and relief workers Thursday.

A total of 40,000 people attended the sold-out Band Together Bay Area concert at AT&T Park in San Francisco, according to The Press Democrat.

Before the concert even began, $9 million had been raised by corporate sponsors, and the concert raised at least $15 million, The Press Democrat reports.

The event was put together by a group of business and community leaders, including Salesforce Chairman Marc Benoiff, Giants President Larry Baer, Rabbi Ryan Bauer, and top concert promoters Live Nation and Another Planet Entertainment, SFGate says. It benefited the Tipping Point Emergency Relief Fund, which supports low-income and vulnerable families and aims to dedicate funds to where they are most needed.

“To have those two music companies come together and work on this big music event is just amazing to watch,” said Tipping Point Community founder Daniel Lurie, according to SFGate. “That epitomizes what this whole night is about — it’s about one community saying, ‘We have your back.’”

The concert featured a wide range of musical talents, and fans of all types seemed to embrace the sense of unity and enjoy all the acts, according to The Mercury News. Many performers hail from the Bay Area, including Metallica, Dead & Company, Rancid, G-Eazy and Raphael Saadiq, The Mercury News reports. The was one big addition from outside the bay: Dave Matthews.

Some other highlights included:

  • The concert opened with an interfaith blessing in which the crowd was asked to turn their phones light on. “Each one of those lights is small,” Rabbi Bauer said, “but collectively we will vanquish the darkness as we rise out of the ashes.”
  • Sports stars including Joe Montana, Barry bonds and Buster Posey also graced the stage, thanking relief workers and first responders.
  • Upset by an apparent lack of response by the president, Oakland rapper G-Eazy – clad in a Metallica shirt – led a chant against Donald Trump.
  • Messages were sent via video from celebrities and business leaders who couldn’t attend including Snoop Dogg, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Green Day and Bonnie Raitt.

The crowd filling AT&T Park was brought to its feet as Metallica closed out the show.

Want to help with relief effort or are you seeking support? Find a list here.

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