Joe Bonamassa Plans To Raise $250K To Support Touring Musicians Financially Devastated by COVID-19

Guitar hero Joe Bonamassa — who recently put out an excellent album — is a working musician who knows the importance of keeping a band on the road in order to earn a living. It’s an extended family with everyone looking out for each other. Now, with all live music canceled for an indeterminate amount of time, touring musicians are faced with an uncertain future and, for many, no clear way of paying the bills.

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Last week, Bonamassa stepped up and launched the Fueling Musicians Program through his 501(c)3 non-profit Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation, with the goal of raising $100,000 to support touring musicians. That goal was quickly reached, with contributions from Gibson, Norman’s Rare Guitars, Reverb, Ernie Ball, Caveman Productions, Peter Frampton and Chicago Music Exchange, plus Bonamassa’s own donation. Today, he’s keeping the program alive with a new goal of $250,000. “The more money raised, the more musicians that will receive funding to help them get through these challenging times and ultimately back onto the road when the time is right,” Bonamassa says.

Bonamassa celebrates his birthday on May 8 and plans a week-long fundraiser on Facebook beginning today through May 13 to raise additional funds. A special stream-a-thon event with exclusive performances is also in the works. There’s also a page on his website for fans to purchase one of a kind gear items. The blues guitar great is so committed to the cause he offered up two of his unique personal items- a 2019 Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul Collection and a ’59 Fender Twin-Amp JB Edition Prototype- which raised $30K in total last week.

Fueling Musicians provides financial support to qualifying touring musicians whose careers have been put on hold as a result of the COVID-19 effect on the music industry. The emergency relief program is designed to support musicians by providing immediate cash payments for essential living expenses of $1,000, as well as pre-paid gas cards of $500 to help them stay afloat and get back on the road again when it is safe.

Bonamassa’s desire to create this program came to him while under stay-at-home orders. Joe kept thinking of his past struggles as a touring musician trying to make it on his own, and how much more difficult the current situation is for artists whose futures are now uncertain. “Right now, the music industry has been brought to its knees.” Necessary funding will be crucial to maintain their livelihoods during the crisis, as well as helping them get back on the road when live music events are permitted.

Individuals or organizations interested in helping Joe support this program should go the Keeping the Blues Alive website,

Artists who would like to be considered for financial aid can fill out an application via

Watch Joe’s Heartfelt Message:

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