After its inaugural events in March 2019, the annual Roady4Roadies day returns in 2021 (the 2020 events were cancelled just two weeks prior due to COVID) with 10 marches to be staged nationally to raise awareness for the unsung heroes of the live music industry – roadies.
A day (11 April) that brings road crew (and the musicians who work with them) together from all corners of the country to celebrate each other and reconnect with family, friends and colleagues, each Roady4Roadies event combines a march (a leisurely 3-4kms) that's topped off by a range of family activities and live performances at well known entertainment precincts.
"In its first year, Roady4Roadies raised $71,500 from being staged in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth," CrewCare co-director and co-founder Howard Freeman says, on behalf of the association's board.
"The net profit of $62,820 went to the Support Act's 'Roadies Fund' to assist crew in crisis."
The COVID pandemic has seen Australia's music industry one of the hardest hit sectors, with 20,000-plus live production crew finding themselves without work during the past 12 months. A year later and the industry is operating at less than four per cent of pre-COVID levels.
With 2021 events confirmed to take place in Adelaide, Brisbane, Central Coast, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sydney and Townsville, Roady4Roadies have unveiled a swag of ambassadors: Icehouse's Iva Davies, Missy Higgins, Vika & Linda Bull, Paul Dempsey (Something For Kate), Brian Ritchie (Violent Femmes/ MONA) Catherine Britt, The Badloves and King Canyon.
"I'm in endless awe at the professionalism of music crew, how hard they work and the standard they work to," Missy Higgins says.
"Us artists literally could not do what we do without a highly skilled team of men and women behind the scenes making it all happen. But it's a really tough job, working crazy long hours and away from home months at a time. It takes its toll on mental and physical health.
"Throw into the mix the past year with restrictions on live events, it's just been devastating for so many music workers and their families who suddenly found themselves unable to make ends meet.
"We need events like Roady4Roadies more than ever right now, so we can show our support and raise some much needed funds for these amazing men and woman who've always been the backbone of what we do."
Roady4Roadies aims to bring public awareness to the diverse range of highly technical and creative skills required to make each every live music gig run smoothly and on time (no matter the size of the concert).
"It seems so obvious when you think about it, that it's the roadies that literally do all the heavy lifting to make our jobs even possible," King Canyon says.
"They're the first ones we turn to when there's a problem and often the last ones to get a pat on the back (or enough time for a shower).
"The past year has left our industry in ruins, and the road crew workers are doing it really tough. They need our help and support like never before so Roady4Roadies is an absolute necessity."
Tickets (which includes a t-shirt and face mask) are available now
ROADY4ROADIES 2021 Events
Adelaide Entertainment Centre (11:30am)Brisbane Entertainment Centre (10:30am)The Entrance Leagues Club - Central Coast (11am)Darwin Entertainment Centre (1pm)The Salty Dog - Hobart (11:30am)Palais Theatre - Melbourne (11am)Lizotte's Newcastle (4:30pm)The Lucky Shag - Perth (11am)Addison Road - Sydney (11:30am)North Queensland Stadium - Townsville (3:30pm)
*all times all local