Hi everyone. Let me start by saying that we hope this message finds you safe and well. We know you must be suffering too, and our heart goes out to you in these difficult times.
As you will know, the live events sector has been hit with devastating impact. In fact, the events and hospitality sectors have been decimated on a global scale.
In pretty much every country live music performances have come to a very abrupt halt. That means that not only artists and musicians have had their income reduced to zero, but all the people that were employed making gigs and concerts happen.
Waiters and bartenders, chefs and kitchen hands, sound engineers, performers of every shape and genre, publicists and garbage collectors, security staff and cashiers, venues and delivery drivers, and the countless back-of-house staff that nobody sees, but without whom a gig, concert or any event doesn’t take place.
Countries like Australia and New Zealand have responded to this crisis with economic stimulus programmes that are literally designed to keep the wolves from the door and keep as many people employed as possible so the entire economy doesn’t implode.
But here in Bali, Indonesia, there is no safety net, no social welfare system, no financial backstop for anyone except the goodwill of people like you!
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All the musicians, support staff, back-of-house and their families are now living hand to mouth, day to day, with no income and dwindling hope. People are starting to go hungry, and while their friends and families are usually the first people to rally around them in crisis, unfortunately, they have all lost their jobs too, because almost every family in Bali relies on tourism for employment.
The Orchard closed its doors a few weeks ago to help support the social distancing measures required to minimise the spread of COVID-19. We endured months of dwindling business before that as well, which means our kitchen and bar staff have no job and no salary because we simply don’t have the resources to keep paying them until we reopen sometime in the future.
So The Orchard Family is swinging into action with the Bali Musicians Appeal to raise money to provide rice and vegetables to feed the artists who need help, the support staff and back-of-house team, and the immediate local community that depended on the gigs and live performances that The Orchard can no longer put on for their livelihood.
We still have our networks available from the emergency supplies we bought and drove to Lombok during the devastating earthquakes two years ago. This means we know where to get the best price on bulk quantities of rice and vegetables and we can get them delivered to The Orchard, with our staff volunteering in shifts (to maintain social distancing) to package up the aid into a 5kg bag of rice and a box of vegetables.
We will then be getting those most in need to come and collect these essential aid packages while rigorously maintaining social distance. We will even have security onsite to make sure it doesn’t become a social get-together. This is all about getting aid to the hungry.
85% goes directly towards buying rice and vegetables using our network to make the most efficient use of every dollar we raise.
15% of donations will go directly to keeping the lights on so we can use The Orchard as the distribution point for collecting and giving out the rice and vegetables we buy with your help and hopefully, with enough donations, open a soup kitchen to provide cooked food to the most vulnerable and others desperately in need.
Know that the food we will be purchasing will also be sourced from local suppliers to also help them survive through this devastating time.
When this is over, and we all pray it will be soon, the local artists that you admire and you listen to in these dark hours, and the support crew we mentioned earlier, will get us all together again, so we can all enjoy that unique shared experience of listening to live music together.
But right now they need your help because, without it, they will be going hungry.
Get a Free Copy of The Orchard Album
Before this pandemic hit, we had huge plans for releasing an album recorded by local artists over a 3-month period during 2019 during a music festival that was due to be announced for later in 2020 but is now on hold.
So rather than keeping it on the shelves, The Orchard Family, including the recording artists, are giving it away for free to everyone who donates $20 or more simply to say a big heartfelt thank-you for making a donation to such a worthy cause.
A donation of only AUD$5 will buy a 5kg bag of rice to help feed an entire family.
A donation of $10 buys a bag of rice and a small box of vegetables.
A donation of $20 or more and you get The Orchard Album for free.
And for donations of $50 or more, we will also give you the live videos from the 3 months in 2019 that the album was performed live and recorded — some incredible performances you will never see anywhere else.
While we are still planning on releasing the album and video recordings for purchase in a few weeks, The Orchard and the recorded artists have kindly agreed to provide these to donors to say a big heartfelt thank-you for helping our community.
Once we have the album and videos released for sale we will be sending them free to the people who donated, but the most important thing right now is getting the donations rolling in so we can buy the supplies and distribute them to those most in need.
If you have any questions or words of encouragement leave a comment below. And please, if you have a roof over your head and some food in the fridge, you have more than these people, and you can help right now.
Thank you with all our heart, and love from our family to yours.
Peace, love and nasi goreng,
Graeme, Co-founder, Bali Musicians Appeal