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New Orleans to Host Virtual Concert Event Benefiting Gig Economy Workers Impacted by COVID-19

March 31, 2020

Media Contacts:
Elle Schmidt

Victoria Adams Phipps

New Orleans to Host Virtual Concert Event Benefiting Gig Economy Workers Impacted by COVID-19

Live from the Porch will feature a series of at-home performances from iconic New Orleans musicians on April 4

NEW ORLEANS – To help support local gig and cultural economy workers impacted by COVID-19, the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (FQFI) and New Orleans CBS affiliate WWL-TV will host “Live from the Porch,” a virtual music event on Saturday, April 4, beginning at 4 p.m. CT.

The event will feature a series of performances from well-known New Orleans musicians, including Shamarr Allen , Robin Barnes , Susan Cowsill , Walter “Wolfman” Washington , DJ Raj Smoove and more, during a live social media broadcast accessible on both Facebook and Instagram via the FQFI and NOLABA pages. 

NOLABA committed the first $100,000 to initiate the Gig Economy Relief Fund, with the goal of increasing it to a minimum of $500,000. Within its first week, the fund more than doubled in contributions, with major donations from Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson, Baptist Community Ministries, Gulf Coast Bank, and more. With these generous donations from the New Orleans business community, as well as hundreds of smaller donations from engaged New Orleanians, the fund has since expanded to over $380,000.

With Live from the Porch , event organizers are hoping to raise additional resources for the relief fund, which has received over 1,200 applications as of March 30. In addition, the event will provide critical income for participating musicians, many of whom have been out of work due to recent closures and cancellations, as well as some much-needed joy and uplifting for residents during the “stay at home” mandate.

“We’re incredibly excited for this event, which will provide a little bit of light during this unprecedented period,” said NOLABA President & CEO Quentin Messer, Jr. “The generosity we’ve seen in support of this relief fund has been truly overwhelming and indicative of the compassion, strength and resiliency of the New Orleans community. We’re encouraging everyone to tune in to Live from the Porch to enjoy quality entertainment from some of our city’s most beloved musicians. Listen in and contribute to assist even more of our local gig workers as we continue to address and overcome the challenges of COVID-19 together.”

Gig economy workers represent nearly 10% of the workforce in New Orleans, including rideshare drivers, musicians, arena workers, freelancers, and festival production staff, to name a few. In a city like New Orleans, internationally-known and loved for its large-scale festivals and events, many of these workers depend on the cultural calendar for reliable income. With so many of these celebrations on hold or canceled, especially during such a prime time in the year, this community stands to lose out on millions of dollars of potential income. 

“The non-profit FQFI is proud to support this event,” said Emily Madero, President and CEO of French Quarter Festivals, Inc. “The decision to postpone French Quarter Festival was a heavy one, particularly because of the impact we knew it would have on the artists, musicians, and hospitality workers that count on our event for their livelihood. Live from the Porch is aligned with our mission to showcase local talent and support the economic well-being of the community. The gig economy relief fund will provide much-needed resources to those on the front lines of our cultural economy.”

“Throughout this crisis, we have witnessed first-hand the incredible strain and burden that COVID-19 has placed upon our local artists and gig workers,” said President & General Manager of New Orleans CBS Affiliate, WWL-TV, Tod Smith. “We’re so happy and proud to be partnering with such amazing organizations and musicians to put on this event, and hopefully make a real difference for our friends and neighbors during these uncertain times.”

Musicians participating in Live From the Porch are being compensated for their performances, with fees underwritten by an innovative group of local entrepreneurs, known as Krewe de Nieux. 
“Krewe de Nieux is a group of New Orleans’ leading entrepreneurs who are constantly thinking about ways to positively impact our community,” said Brent McCrossen, Managing Director at Revelry StartUp Studio, founder of tech companies Audiosocket and LIDCORE, and member of Krewe de Nieux. “Beyond caring for each other, our staff, and our customers, we understand the importance of giving back to our community. We’re thrilled to partner with New Orleans Business Alliance and French Quarter Festivals, Inc., and are honored to support the community during this trying time.”

Follow NOLABA on Facebook and Instagram @neworleansba and FQFI on Facebook @FQFestinc and on Instagram @fqfest for event updates, and tune in live this Saturday, April 4.

For more information or to donate to the Gig Economy Workers Relief Fund, please visit nolaba.org/relief-fund


About the New Orleans Business Alliance

One of fewer than 80 Accredited Economic Development Organizations worldwide, the New Orleans Business Alliance is the official public-private partnership created to increase economic gains for the city of New Orleans. Through a direct partnership with the City of New Orleans and strong connectivity with the business community, the New Orleans Business Alliance works to ensure the economic security of all New Orleanians by diversifying the local economy, developing local talent, and expanding entrepreneurial opportunity. Through an inclusive economic development strategy, we will create a more equitable and prosperous future for all. Learn more at www.nolaba.org .

About French Quarter Festivals, Inc.

FQFI   is the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that produces French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron, Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron, and Holidays New Orleans Style in December. FQFI’s mission is to promote the Vieux Carré and the City of New Orleans through high quality special events and activities that showcase the culture and heritage of this unique city, contribute to the economic well-being of the community, and instill increased pride in the people of New Orleans. For more information about French Quarter Festivals, Inc. or any of these events, visit  www.fqfi.org . 

About WWL-TV Channel 4

As New Orleans’ CBS Affiliate, WWL-TV is dedicated to serving the community through award winning, in-depth local news coverage on multiple platforms, and providing market leading solutions to our advertising clients. Nestled in the heart of the French Quarter, WWL-TV has been the viewer’s choice for local news, weather and sports for 35 years running. WWL-TV is a dedicated community partner providing support to food drives, local festivals, and to non-profits that make a difference in the lives of our neighbors everyday. WWL-TV is owned and operated by TEGNA Inc. For more information, visit: www.wwltv.com


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