The Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids fundraiser will go forward after the American Federation of Musicians agreed Monday to waive its requirement that its members be paid for the streaming concert.
The fundraiser, which featured the streaming of the pre-recorded concert “Celebrating 25 Magical Years of Disney On Broadway,” has been rescheduled to April 17 after initially being canceled after the musicians’ union would not agree to have payments waived. The musicians involved spoke out against that decision Sunday, writing an open letter to Ray Hair, international president of the American Federation of Musicians, asking that the fundraiser be allowed move forward.
Hair reversed his decision on demanding payment, saying Monday that he would follow the wishes of his members.
“We believe all musicians should be fairly compensated for their work all of the time, but we also believe that we must do everything possible to support entertainment workers hurt by the coronavirus pandemic,” Hair said. “We fully support the union musicians who have graciously offered to forgo all required payments to allow this charity event to move forward.”
The streaming concert, which was intended to raise money for the Actors Fund COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, will now move forward on Friday. Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, thanked the members of Local 802 for speaking in favor of the concert.
“There is no better news today than that which helps us ensure all in the entertainment industry who are facing the serious challenges of this COVID-19 pandemic can depend on the support of all their colleagues in the industry,” Viola said in a press release.
The concert was first presented onstage on Nov. 4, 2019, with a cast of 79 performers and a 15-piece orchestra. The streaming event will be hosted by “Frozen’s” Ryan McCartan, who will interview Disney on Broadway stars throughout the evening.