By James Pleasant
More than 400 labels and artists joined Bandcamp to support millions of immigrants and refugees by donating proceeds from sales of their music on the online music store to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Music fans, record labels, and artists helped raise an overwhelming amount of money for the civil rights organization on February 3. Fans bought more than $1,000,000 worth of music in one day—550% more than the website sells on a regular Friday. Bandcamp donated 100% of its proceeds to ACLU, totaling approximately $120,000.
Artists and labels usually keep 88% of the money they earn from selling their music on Bandcamp, however many of them donated their profits from that day. SubPop, Rhymesayers, Speedy Ortiz, P.O.S., Four Tet, A Sunny Day in Glasgow, and Merge Records are among the hundreds of labels and musicians that made additional donations to the fundraiser.
Experimental rock bands Xiu Xiu and Son Lux, in particular, have pledged to donate 100 percent of their Bandcamp revenue to the ACLU for the next four years. Other bands hand-selected charities they want to support, donating their sales proceeds to Doctors Without Borders, Southern Poverty Law Center and other organizations.
The fundraiser is Bandcamp’s response to President Donald Trump’s recent executive order, which closed U.S. borders to citizens and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
“[The ban] is an unequivocal moral wrong, a cynical attempt to sow division among the American people, and is in direct opposition to the principles of a country where the tenet of religious freedom is written directly into the Constitution,” said Bandcamp CEO Ethan Diamond in a statement on Bandcamp’s website.
“This is not who we are, and it is not what we believe in,” he added. “We at Bandcamp oppose the ban wholeheartedly, and extend our support to those whose lives have been upended.”
For a full list of artists and labels participating in this fundraiser, and to lend your support by purchasing their music, click here.