The concert was organized and produced by Ali Harnell, Nashville-based SVP at AEG Live; Coran Capshaw at Red Light Management; and Gary Weinberger, president of Red Mountain Entertainment. Dave Matthews underwrote production expenses estimated at more than $100,000, and Brad Paisley donated his touring production for the concert. Proceeds benefit the Bama Rising Fund and will be distributed through the Greater Birmingham Community Foundation.
On the bill were Alabama, credited with getting the ball rolling on Bama Rising, along with Rodney Atkins, Dierks Bentley, Bo Bice, Blind Boys of Alabama, Luke Bryan, the Commodores, Sheryl Crow, Sara Evans, Taylor Hicks, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Montgomery Gentry, David Nail, Jake Owen, Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Darius Rucker, and Ashton Shepherd.
Harnell and Rod Essig and Blake McDaniel at Creative Artists Agency, along with the Red Light team booked the night’s talent.
Tickets were $25-$150, with two levels of VIP packages priced at $250 and $1,000, and was “100% clean,” Harnell tells billboard.biz. The ticket gross was about $1.3 million, and other initiatives will take the figure for those devastated by the April 27 tornados that ripped through Alabama well over $2 million. “It’s really going to help,” Harnell says.
The show itself, with performances from artists with Alabama connections or those who just wanted to help, was “phenomenal,” Harnell says. “Brad Paisley donated his production, and he’s got this incredible video wall and lighting rig, so it was a first class production. There was a house band of Kenny Greenberg, Michael Rhodes and a bunch of other badass Nashville musicians that came over.”
Harnell stresses that people can still donate to the cause through bamarising.org and an online auction at charitybuzz.org that has already raised about $25,000 that continues through tomorrow.