Concert marks nearly $5.5 million raised for community through live music

FSG_4353Raleigh, N.C., June 29, 2015 — At its largest event to date, on Saturday night Band Together NC Executive Director Matt Strickland announced proceeds from the Michael Franti & Spearhead concert and the yearlong StepUp Ministry partnership would top $2 million. Turbulent weather and rain could not dampen spirits for the concert as music fans and supporters of the two nonprofits danced the night away and celebrated the success.

Band Together NC, a Triangle-based organization that uses live music as a platform for social change, has become the largest charitable music event in the Southeast since its inception in 2001. With this weekend’s event, the organization has raised nearly $5.5 million for the Triangle community to date.

IMG_9913Michael Franti & Spearhead headlined the 2015 concert, accompanied by Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Elliot Root and Winston-Salem based Fat Cheek Kat – who earned a slot after winning Band Together’s 2015 Last Band Standing contest. This year also marked the return of the Main Event to downtown Raleigh and its first concert at Red Hat Amphitheater.

StepUp Ministry is the first repeat nonprofit partner, having partnered the first time in 2010. The 2010 Main Event concert was also headlined by Franti, and it was also the only other Band Together show in which it rained. Severe weather briefly interrupted the show, but guests, volunteers and the musicians quickly picked up where they had left off.

0K9A5161“Thanks to our dedicated volunteers and music fans, and our generous sponsors, we were able to successfully reach our 2015 fundraising goal of $2 million,” said Strickland. “The magical duo of nonprofit partner, StepUp Ministry, and headliner Michael Franti & Spearhead, along with the move to Red Hat Amphitheater made this our most exciting event yet.”

“A little rain can’t stop a party,” said Strickland. “I have to acknowledge the professionalism of the Red Hat Amphitheater staff, the hard work of our volunteers and the patience of fans. And, thank you to the artists, especially Michael Franti, who once again jumped into the crowd in the rain and performed.”

Proceeds raised this year will establish StepUp in Durham, create StepUp North Carolina as an umbrella organization to oversee replication across the state, and offer support to the original StepUp Ministry in Raleigh. Adults and children transforming their lives through employment and life skills training will continue to be StepUp’s mission as it expands these services throughout the Triangle.

“We are honored to have been chosen as the nonprofit partner again,” said Linda Nunnallee, executive director at StepUp Ministry, “and to have spent the past year collaborating.” Steve Swayne, StepUp North Carolina CEO added, “Our goal is to continue expanding StepUp throughout the Triangle and North Carolina and create more opportunities for adults and families in need of job or life skills training.”

Band Together would not be able to raise substantial funds or host events of this scale without the generous support of corporate partners in the community. Included among the hundreds of sponsors are: AJ Fletcher Foundation, BB&T, Captrust, Dimension Data, Cisco, NetApp, Medical Mutual and S&A Communications. Band Together would also like to thank Eschelon Experiences for their VIP catering and media partners WNCN and & About.

In 2016, Band Together will partner with Kidznotes and host at least three signature live music events in the Triangle. To learn more about Band Together’s previous nonprofit partners or their events, visit, become a fan on Facebook, join their LinkedIn group or follow @bandtogethernc on Twitter.


About Band Together NC
Band Together NC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates under one mission: using live music as a platform for social change. Since its inception in 2001, the organization has grown to become the largest annual charitable music event in the Southeast, donating nearly $5.5 million to philanthropic organizations. Band Together’s annual concert event is organized and led by a team of more than 500 volunteers from across the Triangle.

About StepUp Ministry
StepUp Ministry is an interfaith nonprofit organization that teaches low-income and homeless people to become self-sufficient (stable job, stable home, stable family). Founded in 1988, StepUp annually helps empower, not enable, nearly 600 individuals in Wake County. StepUp accomplishes this through life-skills preparation with volunteer partners and job training/placement. More than 800 Wake County adults, many of them in crisis or in need, have been placed in jobs over the last five years because of StepUp Ministry. For more information, visit or call (919) 781-0156.