Benefit to feature noted country music band

By Megan Hansen, Wescom News Service April 16, 2011 05:00 am

Country music duo Love and Theft will be the headliner band performing for a benefit to help those in Crescent City who were affected by the March 11 tsunami. Submitted photo.
CRESCENT CITY – Fishermen impacted by the March 11 tsunami will receive some financial help this month from a benefit concert featuring nationally recognized country duo Love and Theft.

The Lets All Band Together fundraiser will be from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds, 421 Highway 101 N. Crescent City.

Randy Hatfield, fairgrounds chief executive officer, said the fundraiser includes music, a spaghetti dinner, live and silent auctions and a variety of other activities.

“We’re hoping to bring lots of people in,” Hatfield said. “It’s going to be a good fundraiser for those guys and families affected by the tsunami.”

Live entertainment and the spaghetti dinner will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hatfield said Love and Theft will play a 40-minute acoustic set, in addition to performances by at least six other bands.

The song “Runaway” by Love and Theft was 2009’s highest-charting debut single, quickly hitting the Top 10 on both the Billboard and Mediabase country charts. The band, comprised of Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson, has toured with Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum and Tim McGraw.

Other bands playing include Jeff Jolly, the Mudsharks, Dale Morgan, Rowdy Creek, Redwood and the Lost Avenue Blues Project.

Hatfield said he began planning the fundraiser about two weeks ago when he and others started talking about what they could do to help the community. He said the fundraiser is a way for people to help their neighbors.

“I think it shows what the community can do for themselves, not relying on someone else to come in and take care of us,” Hatfield said.

Getting well-known country artists to come to Crescent City was no easy task, but Hatfield said he was able to secure Love and Theft by asking a booking agency for some suggestions. 

“I’ve been buying entertainment for whatever fair I’ve been working at for about 30 years,” Hatfield said. “I just kind of made a call to the agency I deal with in Nashville.”

The country duo was interested in helping out and will be playing for free. Hatfield said the fair office will help pay for their flights and hotel rooms.

“It’s a heck of a deal,” Hatfield said. “It’s not every day you get an outreach program like this.”

In addition to the music, live and silent auctions will take place at the fairgrounds from 6 to 8 p.m. Hatfield said items are pouring in from other fairs, businesses, individuals and organizations.

“We’ve got things from the unique to unusual for auction items,” Hatfield said. “We’ve gotten a lot of great support.”

Auction items include a wild boar hunt, fishing trips, rental vacations, a Rocky Mountain elk hunt in Idaho, bison hunts, backstage passes for the fair, sports event tickets and even autographed Love and Theft items.

Hatfield said fair representatives from other areas called after the tsunami to see how they could help.

“It’s really neat to see the fair industry get behind this and support us,” Hatfield said. “It has been very satisfying to be part of this thing and have everybody get behind it.”

Additionally, the skating rink will be open during the day and a free fuchsia show and sale will take place in the floral building from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Coast Guard Auxiliary will be providing free boat inspections from 2 to 5 p.m.

Proceeds from the event will be given to the Friends of the Coast Guard Auxiliary to benefit local fisherman, Hatfield said.

“They’ll have a panel that will be dispersing the money out to fisherman from this,” Hatfield said.

Admission to the event costs $10 per person, and is free for children age 12 and under. Dinner tickets are $8 per person, $4 for children ages 6-12 and $20 for a family of five. Pre-sale dinner tickets can be purchased at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds Office and Del Norte Office Supply.

For more information, people can call 707-464-9556 or go online to facebook.com/delnortefairgrounds.