Musically Fed Partners With Lollapalooza For Second Year; Distributing Over 5,000 Pounds Of Food
6:30 PM, TUESDAY, 08/09/2022
Lollapalooza’s commitment to sustainability is well known, from its eco-friendly service items at the event’s Chow Town to the fest’s commitment to using biodiesel for all generators and equipment. Lolla’s climate-friendly practices, including the preservation of its Chicago homebase at Grant Park, were even recognized with an Illinois Sustainability Award in 2017. The festival’s continued partnership with nonprofit Musically Fed is a natural fit, as the Phoenix-based organization works with concerts and festivals to repurpose backstage catering – a win-win helping feed those in need and diverting the excess food from landfills. Musically Fed returned to Lollapalooza July 28 through July 31 for a second year following a successful partnership at the 2021 event. In addition to unused backstage meals, VIP and artist catering were also donated to Chicago-area community organizations.
“Thanks to C3/Lollapalooza, Lakehouse Catering, and Lollapalooza Concessions, over 5,000 pounds of food and food products were distributed across the city,” founder Maria Brunner told Pollstar. “Musically Fed sourced, packaged, inventoried, and delivered 24 hours a day for the week that we were there.”
Brunner messaged Pollstar prior to heading over to Thomas Rhett’s Aug. 4 concert at Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix, which Musically Fed also partnered with. The organization is also involved with tours by Dierks Bentley, The Lumineers, Jack Johnson and Odesza, among others.
Brunner, the owner of Insight Management, started Musically Fed in 2016 in honor of her late husband, who was a proud Vietnam veteran, to donate unused backstage catering to community organizations that feed veterans, homeless and those who are food insecure.
After the coronavirus pandemic brought live events to a halt and many production professionals suddenly found themselves out of work, Musically Fed shifted its mission to distributing food via COVID-safe drive-through events to help those in the music industry facing food insecurities.
Musically Fed worked with live industry executives including Jake Berry of Jake Berry Productions, Jeff Giek with Rhino Staging, Charlie Hernandez from the nonprofit Just a Bunch of Roadies, Insomniac Events’ Insomniac Cares (including Rutger Jansen) and Musically Fed board member Chad Schultz from Warner Music Group to put together drive-thru food distributions that started in Arizona and then expanded across the U.S. In addition to serving those in the live industry, Musically Fed also provided thousands of meals to depleted food pantries and nonprofits in markets including Atlanta, Minneapolis and Los Angeles.
When live events returned in full force in 2021 Musically Fed held its final drive-through food distribution in June 2021 and transitioned back to once again collecting backstage catering.
As a press release points out, Musically Fed “identifies the opportunities, procures the resources, and coordinates all aspects of food handling, transport, and distribution, making it easy for promoters and performers to leave each city they visit with a lasting positive impact.” Since being founded in 2016 Musically Fed has provided more than 400,000 meals to people in need across the U.S.
“In a nation where nearly 40% of the food supply is wasted each year, no man, woman or child should ever go hungry. We look forward to sharing our vision with everyone at Lollapalooza and encouraging fans to get involved in addressing food insecurity and sustainability in their own communities,” Brunner said in a statement ahead of festival.
Brunner – who has worked in the music business for more than three decades – was honored as one of the recipients of the Heroes of Live Award at the Pollstar Awards in Los Angeles in 2021. The award was given to five recipients who went “far above and beyond their traditional ‘day/night jobs’ to help the larger live industry and our communities in crucial ways that include altruism, advocacy, diversity and inclusivity and more.”
She was also honored as one of Pollstar’s 2021 Women of Live and named to Pollstar’s 2020 Impact 50 list as one of the Caretakers.
Musically Fed volunteers — including founder Maria Brunner, back row, left) – appear at Lollapalooza, which was held July 28-31 at Grant Park in Chicago.