Co-op donates £1m to Music Feeds live stream gig to help industry workers

The Co-op has donated £1 million to Music Feeds, a live stream gig aimed at raising funds to fight food poverty and help struggling entertainment industry workers.

The two-day live stream event runs from January 28-29 and has been organised by Co-op and promoter Everybody Belongs Here to help support those facing food poverty and whose livelihoods have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will feature performances from Sam Smith, Blossoms, Fontaines D.C., Flogging Molly and more. All net profits will be donated to three key charities: FareShare (helping to provide around 2.5 million meals), Stagehand and Help Musicians. 

Jo Whitfield, CEO of Co-op Food, said: “Hunger knows no borders and neither should our response. All year round, Co-op works to tackle food hunger and we’re thrilled to be uniting with outstanding musicians from across the world to turn up the volume on the issue. The pandemic has brought a sharper focus on issues such as food poverty and many in the music industry have seen their livelihoods disappear overnight because of lockdown restrictions. It’s right that we should lend our support and co-operate with musicians to raise awareness and raise funds for such vital causes.”  

Mike Lowe, Stagehand’s Chair of Trustees, added: “Stagehand is very thankful to have been named as a beneficiary of this innovative and much-needed initiative. As a charity, we have spent months fundraising and distributing grants to live industry events workers most affected by the loss of livelihood due to the pandemic, helping them keep roofs over heads and food on tables. We have also been making them aware of food banks – most live industry workers have never had to use them before. 

“We are hugely appreciative of the Co-op’s significant contributions to food banks and this activity is as significant to our cause as it is to the public at large. Britain is battling food poverty like never seen before. With Everybody Belongs Here and Co-op bringing Music Feeds to the masses, we are able to continue feeding and supporting live event professionals facing severe hardship due to the decimation of the concert touring and festival industries.” 

The two-day online concert was filmed across rehearsal locations in London, Manchester and Glasgow in a Covid-safe environment and featuring delivering high-end production values. 

Co-op’s support for Music Feeds follows the announcement that the retailer will partner with Oak View Group (OVG) to develop the UK’s biggest new arena in Manchester – Co-op Live. The retailer has become a significant presence within the UK’s music scene. It has had pop-up shops at festivals such as Glastonbury and Live Nation’s Download, Creamfields, Latitude and Reading and Leeds Festivals.

Whitfield added: “Co-op is a growing part of the music scene and music lovers can enjoy great acts at Music Feeds in the knowledge they are acting towards creating lasting change on big issues, including fairer access to food.” 

Music industry veteran, and James band member, Saul Davies, is the driving force behind Music Feeds. He commented: “At Music Feeds you’ll get never-seen performances from leading artists, uncover new bands, and get up-close and personal with interviews. The festival will be broadcast to your Smart TV and devices over two nights, and festival goers can even join the sofa mosh-pit via the simultaneous Twitter listening party. Additional artists who have been unable to perform have donated unique items for the companions Music Feed charity auction.”  

Davies added: “With a single £15 ticket giving access to both nights, the festival is priced to allow as many people as possible to support the causes. There is also the option for festival goers to donate more. We are grateful to our ticketing partner DICE, who have significantly reduced their charges to only recover their costs. So, if you want to take positive action to end hunger, buy a ticket for yourself, buy one for a friend or donate one to charity, but please help by buying a ticket at”  

Tickets cost £15 and are available here.