Loud Hailer Will Be Westbound and Down

Loud Hailer HQ will be taking to the road in 2023 to raise money for The National Independent Venue Foundation and Musicians On Call.

It’s been some time since I last wrote a blog post. March 2020 was the last one, written during the lockdown and all the uncertainty associated with the pandemic. I’ve written at length previously about the power of music and how essential I feel it is for people to have access to live music and when the pandemic hit, it cut off our access to live music, and was a disaster for live music venues and artists. 

During the time that we were locked in the apartment, catching musicians’ live stream performances and watching with trepidation to see if our favorite venues may go out of business, an idea started to form in our heads about a potential fundraising venture.

There are so many worthy organizations for which we could raise money but for the purposes of this first venture, we landed on two specific organizations: Musicians On Call and the National Independent Venue Foundation (NIVF). We’ve provided some brief information about each organization below but would encourage you to visit the respective websites (links at the bottom of the article) to find out more about their missions.

Musicians On Call (MOC) brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients, families, and caregivers in healthcare environments. By delivering live, in-room performances to patients undergoing treatment or unable to leave their beds, they add a dose of joy to life in a healthcare facility. As the nation’s leading provider of live music in hospitals, Musicians On Call volunteers have performed for more than one million individuals through bedside and virtual programs across all 50 states. MOC believes that everyone should have access to and benefit from the healing power of live music. It has been demonstrated that music has a direct effect on people and can manage stress, alleviate pain and improve blood pressure, outlook, and overall mood.

NIVF – The mission of the National Independent Venue Foundation (NIVF) is to preserve and nurture the ecosystem of independent live performance venues and promoters throughout the United States by supporting a transparent, competitive marketplace serving a diverse and inclusive community of artists, fans, and industry workers. The Foundation aims to learn from existing best practices and training programs undertaken by NIVA’s members and expand upon them to provide education and community programming, employee training and support, and economic development initiatives to further develop both organizations’ efforts to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion. Future programming will also support entrepreneurship, management training, and minority business funding.

We wanted to do something big, something that would, hopefully, capture people’s attention and draw their focus to these great organizations and their missions. And in the process of doing it, we wanted to simultaneously show off this magnificent country and the people who live here.

So, what is it you are going to do I hear you ask??

Westbound and Down

The plan is for me to ride my motorcycle from New Jersey to LA stopping in various cities en route. I’ll be camping as opposed to staying in hotels as much as possible and we will be staying off highways to try to show off some real America along the way. We want to find independent music venues in each city we visit and will try to interview the owners/do a piece on the venue which we will publish on the website.  

We will also look to attend a show at an independent venue when we are in town and will cover that show for the website. If possible, we also may try to arrange one or two dedicated charity shows. The full list of cities on the trip is currently:

-Asbury Park, New Jersey
-Cleveland, Ohio
-Detroit, Michigan
-Chicago, Illinois
-Nashville, Tennessee
-Clarksdale, Mississippi
-Florence, Alabama
-Austin, Texas
-Santa Fe, New Mexico
-Phoenix, Arizona
-Los Angeles, California
Kirstine and Dave (our dog) will be following me in a camper to film/shoot shows and be the support crew. The plan is to set off in mid-September, 2023 arriving in Los Angeles toward the end of October. We’ll be filming and posting content throughout the trip and I will be starting a video diary of the preparations in the next couple of weeks. 
We will be setting up a fundraising website or providing links to collect sponsorship/donations towards these amazing organizations and 100% of what we collect will go to them (we are funding the trip ourselves). 

This is going to be a huge undertaking and we are starting the detailed planning in earnest right now so keep an eye out for more info and the video blogs coming soon! And, if you can, please tell your friends, re-post this on your socials, and let others know about it. The more people that know, the more money we can raise for these fantastic organizations.  

About Phil Walton 84 Articles
Phil grew up in the UK and loved listening to and playing music from a young age. He moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, falling in love with the city and its music scene. He enjoys nothing better than spending time with musicians, whether it be watching them perform, talking to them for the website or reading their autobiographies.