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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Musicians Raise Relief Funds

After a two-week span of devastation by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the entertainment industries in Texas and Florida look to reset as the states recover from the damages. Seemingly every event schedule around the path of these hurricanes was tossed into limbo, as ticket holders awaited to discover the fate of their planned shows. Numerous artists resorted to canceling their shows with no offer of rescheduling for a later date. Many others postponed their events a few weeks to a few months. 
Coldplay postponed their Houston concert and will reschedule their appearance, since they must continue their A Head Full of Dreams Tour. Down in Florida, artists experienced similar complications. Among the notable acts that were effected were 2 Chainz, Paramore, Pitbull, and Enrique Iglesias.
The mirage of cancelations and delays is a complicated and expensive hit to venues, artists, and fans across Texas and Florida. Artists generally abide by the phrase “the show must go on,” until it is undoubtedly evident that the show cannot go on.  When scheduling a concert, artist or their agents negotiate cancellation clauses with venues and promoters. In the case of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, clauses regarding unavoidable and unforeseen events were likely employed to deal with the circumstances, exempting artists from their contractual obligation to perform.  After sorting the legal parameters, the artists’ public relations teams handle the communication with fans and media.  
Although many artists are continuing with ongoing tours, others have joined relief efforts. Beyoncé attended a TV special to raise fund for Harvey victims on Sept. 12. The telethon, titled “Hand in Hand,”  raised more than $44 million. Many prominent stars, including George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, and Selena Gomez, were on board to contribute and appear at this event.
The telethon opened with a heartfelt performance from Stevie Wonder. He encouraged individuals to work together while putting aside race, religion, and politics. He also spoke against climate change skeptics by claiming, “Anyone who believes there’s no such thing as global warming must be blind or unintelligent. Lord, please save us all.” The special featured more speeches echoing Wonder’s sentiments. Selena Gomez reminded the audience and viewers that “no matter who we are, the differences we have suddenly did not seem to matter.”
Beyonce, who is a Houston native, provided passionate words through a recorded speech. Her tone paralleled that of previous speakers. She expressed her unifying efforts by stating, “Natural disasters don’t discriminate. They don’t see if you’re an immigrant, black or white, Hispanic or Asian, Jewish or Muslim, wealthy or poor. It doesn’t matter if you’re from Third Ward or River Oaks, we’re all in this together.”
During the special, Stephen Colbert announced that Apple had donated $5 million, and Jimmy Fallon revealed that grocery and pharmaceutical giants, Albertsons and Merck, donated $1 million each. NBA star Chris Paul donated $500,000, answered phones during the event, and announced that the NBA would match any donations made by players. 
The TV special focused on togetherness and encouraged individuals throughout the country to help those affected by the hurricanes. In addition to Wonder, many other musicians united in emotional collaborations. Usher and Blake Shelton performed a duet of “Stand By Me,” while Luis Fonsi and Tori Kelly sang “Hallelujah.” Brad Paisley, Demi Lovato, Darius Rucker, and Cece Winans performed “With a Little Help from My Friends.” Miranda Lambert led a chorus through performances of “Texas” and “I Believe.” The special was a huge success, reminding us that we all have something to contribute in the wake of natural disaster.