LEVL UP Live Events Lift Up Festival has announced the first wave of artists in the lineup that will livestream from the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Wednesday, December 16 at 8:30pm Eastern.This “festival of music and stories of life on and off the road” will feature performances from artists and entertainers who are lending their talents and speaking up in honor of all those who help them “go live.”
Nicole Ryan, co-host of SiriusXM Hits 1 The Morning Mash Up, will host live on stage at The Ryman. Ryan commented, “When my management team approached me to host, it was especially impactful because I’ve spent the last 14 years on air and in person, interviewing top artists whose careers I’ve not only watched grow, but I’ve gotten to play a hand in on radio which helped ignite and widen their audience reach. Now witnessing the rippling effects of Covid-19 suspend the artists' ability to tour, all crew members across the world unemployed and on an indefinite pause with little to no income coming in, as an industry and as a society moved by music constantly in our everyday livelihoods, it’s our responsibility to step up.”
As Nicole Ryan steps up to host the show, the initial list of artists also stepping up includes Jason Mraz, The War And Treaty, John Rzeznik from the Goo Goo Dolls, Michael Ray, Indigo Girls, Dispatch, Keala Settle, Mt. Joy, Augustana, Lucie Silvas, Annie Bosko, Bre Kennedy, CJ Hammond & Sloan, Veridia, Shy Carter and Jimmie Allen. Earlier this week, Shy Carter was revealed as one of MusicRow Magazine’s 2021 Next Big Thing Artists. Jimmie Allen, CMA New Artist of the Year Nominee, will also be performing with his full band live at The Ryman on December 17, just one day after LEVL UP Fest. Additional announcements will be made next week for both performances and special appearances.
While the LEVL UP team wants to celebrate the power of music, they also want to take viewers behind the scenes of entertainment and events to tell the story of the people we don’t see. The average concert requires more than 500 people to produce; and the group says that none of them have worked since events were shut down in early March. The festival’s Music Supervisor, Keith Levenson, knows this all too well. The long-time Composer/Conductor for The Who among others said, “I was on the way to the airport to join The Who for the start of our concert tour in Europe when I got the call to turn around and go home. The tour was being postponed due to the pandemic. Like so many millions of people in the events industry, I had no idea that I would still be home at this point. I'm honored to be working in support of them during these difficult times.”
David Fischette, executive producer for the festival and CEO of Go West Creative said, “2020 has affected everyone in this country, everyone on this planet; but no single industry has been as hard hit and as devastated as the live events industry. It is so easy for others to look at concerts and touring and think, “Oh, those rock stars have plenty of money, they’ll probably go on vacation and lay on a beach for a year”. Maybe they will. But we aren’t talking about rock stars. We’re talking about people, real people, just like you and me…your neighbors, the people that you see when you pick your kids up at school. Hard working Americans that had a decent job for years that evaporated in an instant. And it wasn’t just their job, it was their whole industry. Lighting technicians, audio engineers, tour bus drivers, caterers, crew members of all walks of life, all ethnicities and all beliefs. It’s their story we’ll tell through LEVL UP Fest.” Helping the team tell that story will be more than 20 artists and entertainers including Jeff Tweedy, Taye Diggs, and members of The All American Rejects as they share what their crews mean to them.
LEVL UP Fest will be a free virtual event and featured on NoCap Shows and Twitch – both of which are part of the growing list of supporters for LEVL UP Fest. Grammy-nominated producer and musician Cisco Adler says, “Almost my whole adult life I have been touring in one shape or form and the road crews on my team and the venue crews that welcomed us and helped us put on a great show are all part of my extended touring family. They really make it possible for artists like me to do what we do, and they are truly unsung heroes. They are also the first to be hit hard by a situation like this so part of our mission at NoCap is to get shows happening again and get these good people back to work. This cause that LEVL up is supporting is the essence of that as well and it was only right that we get involved and give back to those who have given so much to us and our fans. It wasn’t ever a question.”
ABOUT THE BENEFICIARIES OF LEVL UP FEST
The LEVL UP Fest team says their top priority is to support the people behind live events. They also feel the lessons learned in 2020 demand that they pay attention to coming back stronger, more resilient and more diverse than they were before. To achieve this, they’ve named three beneficiaries for funds raised by the festival. MusiCares and The Roadie Clinic are two of those organizations whose focus is on critical assistance in times of need and mental health and wellness support. With an eye on the future, LEVL UP Fest named the Country Music Association Foundation (CMAF) as their third beneficiary with funds to be used for the CMA EDU program, supporting LEVL UP’s goal of strengthening and diversifying the industry through outreach, education and job placement. Donations can be made at any time now through December at www.liveeventsliftup.org.
HOW TO SUPPORT LEVL UP FEST
Visit www.liveeventsliftup.org to learn more about the festival and shop their merch store, where 50% of every purchase will be donated back to LEVL UP Fest. Text “LIFTUP” to 707070 to donate to LEVL UP Fest and their beneficiaries. Follow on IG @LEVLUPFEST and on FB @LEVLUPFestival and stay tuned for news, exclusive artist interviews and features. Watch the show on Wednesday, December 16 at 8:30pm Eastern on NoCap Shows and Twitch.