When the COVID-19 quarantine hit Kansas, the community has been in a mad dash to help keep local businesses afloat. Now, I Heart Local Music and local venues are banding together to help support the workers who make your concerts happen. That includes anyone from audio technicians to security teams. These dedicated workers are essential members of the concert scene we’ve all come to love in Lawrence, and you have an opportunity to step up and help out.

Today, I Heart Local Music is launching a web store selling t-shirts designed by local artist Kent Smith. Proceeds from these purchases will go to the virtual tip jars of local venues (we’ve also linked their virtual tip jars below, in case you want to make a donation). Shoutout to Happy Shirt Printing for helping make this happen.

For many of these venues, Spring was supposed to be when all the concerts were popped off. The staff was ready to hit the ground running when the Downtown economy came to a screeching halt.

The Bottleneck, The Granada, and Liberty Hall are also giving you a chance to sport some Lawrence pride at this time with merchandise provided by Pride of Gumbo Printing. They’re selling t-shirts and custom koozies featuring their famous marquees and logos, with proceeds going to help their staff during the pandemic.

Here is the statement they released with their new online store:

“Downtown Lawrence is home to three historic and locally owned 400+ capacity venues: The Granada, Bottleneck and Liberty Hall. On any given night, there are hundreds, sometimes thousands of people gathering at these venues to experience live music. All three venues are legacies in the concert world, having collectively hosted live music for close to a century. They are pillars of what downtown Lawrence is about, the twisting of creativity, of exuberance and of togetherness.

Unfortunately, the live events industry was one of the first industries impacted by Co-Vid 19. Our local venues have had to close their doors for the safety of the public and their staff. Many wonderful local businesses are figuring out creative ways to adapt to the current situation, but unfortunately, a live music experience cannot be delivered to your doorstep.

The Granada, Bottleneck and Liberty Hall share a network of skilled and dedicated staff who are currently without work. This ranges from stagehands, production managers, electricians, hospitality and security to bartenders, box office and the marketing team as well as stage, sound & lighting engineers. This is the crew who makes live music possible in our community. They are resilient, bright, hard-working and can always find ways to make each other laugh. They are family.

If you are able to, and would like to support these individuals during this unprecedented crisis, please donate, share the GoFundMe link below, or purchase official venue merch, with proceeds to support staff.

Until we can safely gather and experience live music together again, please stay safe and thank you for your support!”

– The Granada, Bottleneck and Liberty Hall Family

If you want to give back beyond quarantine fashion, you can always donate at the virtual tip jars below:

  • The Granada, The Bottleneck, and Liberty Hall Virtual Tip Jar
  • Gaslight Gardens Virtual Tip Jar
  • Kaw Valley Public House Virtual Tip Jar
  • Replay Lounge Virtual Tip Jar
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    Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

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