Nashville’s Feed the Front Line to host virtual benefit festival

Feed the Front Line is partnering with CMT in hopes of raising funds to continue supporting local restaurants and delivering food around U.S. cities. Feed the Front Line LIVE will be streaming from CMT’s Facebook and Youtube channels May 20.

Feed the Front Line Poster for their website. (Screenshot by Immanual John Milton)

Feed the Front Line Poster for their website. (Screenshot by Immanual John Milton)

Eva Pace, Life Editor

Music has the uncanny ability to bring people together in times of crisis, and despite the ongoing pandemic, nonprofit Feed the Front Line is planning to utilize this potential by turning to the Internet. The charity, co-founded by Vanderbilt alumnus Ben Schecter (‘18), is partnering with Country Music Television (CMT) and using their music fanbase and online platforms to air their virtual benefit concert, Feed the Front Line LIVE, on May 20. 

The concert will include performances by renowned artists such as Tim McGraw, Billy Ray Cyrus and Avril Lavigne. Schecter accredits much of Feed the Front Line’s success in booking such noteworthy talent to their show, without previous experience in musical production, to the hardworking nature of the team. 

“We used personal connections, cold calls and emails and anything else we could to get in touch with performers,” Schecter said. “It has been a huge haul to not only get in touch, but get commitments from these artists, which is a testament to the team’s hard work and the generosity of the performers during this time of need.”

Part of the flyer distributed by Feed the Front Line. (Feed the Front Life)

Schecter also highlighted the relationship with CMT as being incredibly valuable in preparing the logistics for the concert, as the organization has notable experience hosting similar events. Their team has been mostly responsible for maneuvering the specifics on production and technology, he said. 

As COVID-19 response efforts evolve nationwide, Feed the Front Line is also developing into its “next phase of existence,” Schecter said. The nonprofit will move forward in the hopes of feeding all frontline workers and food insecure communities in the wake of the pandemic, he said.

“Our hope is to get 10,000 people to donate at least one meal, which is worth $12. 100 percent of donations go to purchasing meals, and every little bit helps. If you are able and you are watching the concert, consider donating to help feed people in need,” Schecter said. 

Viewing of the virtual benefit concert, which will be taking place all day long May 20 via CMT’s Facebook and Youtube channels, will be free of charge.