The initiative comes in response to the unjust killings of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Sean Reed, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arberyby, as well as ongoing police brutality in the US. They will be raising money for a not-for-profit organisation who are fighting for racial justice and trying to put an end to the ongoing racially-fuelled violence replete throughout America.
Bandcamp are donating 100% of its share of sales on June 19 to the civil rights charity organisation, NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
The music-sales platform have chosen to donate their profits on June 19, which is a particularly significant day in American civil rights history. On this date in 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation went into practice, freeing all remaining slaves in Texas just over a month since the end of the Civil War and two years after its signing.
Known as the Juneteenth holiday, it marked a revolutionary time for equal rights and freedom in America. Nearly 150 years on, people are still left questioning how much has really changed. And now we are really seeing people standing agaisnt racial inequality, with riots and protests blanketing the turbulent surface of the American nation.
In response, Bandcamp have decided that not only will they donate 100% of their profits to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund on June 19th, but on “every Juneteenth hereafter”. They have also thought about the long-term as they realise how much of a significant issue this race thing really is, announcing they will be giving $30 000 every year to “organizations that fight for racial justice and create opportunities for people of color.”
Bandcamp announced in a statement: “The current moment is part of a long-standing, widespread, and entrenched system of structural oppression of people of color, and real progress requires a sustained and sincere commitment to political, social, and economic racial justice and change.”
Bandcamp have also proven to be a saving grace for artists as of late, choosing to waive artist fees for 24 hours on the first Friday of every month for three months (May 1st, June 5th, and July 3rd). With the cancellation of all live music events and the closure of venues, musicians have been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. The digital age of music has made it so that touring and merch sales are the primary areas where artists generate any sort of real income from their art.
The generous move saw the first run raise $4.3 million for artists in music and merchandise sales on March 20th, becoming the largest day in sales for the platform in its eleven-year history and “15x the amount of a normal Friday”. This coming Friday (June 5th), all profits will filter directly back to the artists, so be sure to jump on Bandcamp and pick up a few new records and tees from your favourite artists then.
Beyond that, Bandcamp say that they will continue to “look for more opportunities to support racial justice, equality and change” while they urge the public to find alternative ways in their local community to help put a definitive end to this global war on race.
Make sure to purchase treats from their website on June 19th (from midnight to midnight, PDT), with 100% of proceeds going to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.