Bandcamp to divert all proceeds to Black Lives Matter this Friday
18.06.2020

Bandcamp to divert all proceeds to Black Lives Matter this Friday

Image by Nathan Dumlao
Words by Arielle Richards

The organisation is leading the way once again.

This Friday June 19, Bandcamp is donating their cut of sales to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (NAACP), a leading American civil rights organisation which advocates, litigates and raises awareness for the advancement of people of colour.

During the pandemic, the ‘Bandcamp Day’ initiative – held on the first Friday of each month – has seen the Oakland-based company diverting their profits in an attempt to help sustain creators, producers and labels as their industry is halted under COVID-19 restrictions.

Through the Bandcamp Day initiative, $4.3 million in revenue went directly to artists on March 20, which was followed by a huge $7.1 million on May 1.

Now, with the fight to end systemic racism reaching a fever pitch worldwide, Bandcamp are putting their money where their mouth is – utilising their platform to raise funds and awareness for the fight towards affecting change, liberation and equality for people of colour.

This Friday, in commemoration of “Juneteenth”, Bandcamp’s revenue will go directly to the NAACP, which has fought for civil rights for over a century.

Dating back to 1865, Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, is a historic celebration of the end to slavery in the United States, widely recognised as the day the Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, where they delivered news of the Civil War’s end and announced all enslaved people were to be freed.

Although then-President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had been delivered more than two years earlier, Union forces in geographically-isolated Texas had been too weak to enforce the Executive Order, making June 19 the day which is widely celebrated as the end to slavery in the USA.

Bandcamp’s website features a list of artists and labels who are diverting their own profits in support of the Back Lives Matter movement, and a spreadsheet is in circulation which features a growing list of almost 2000 First Nations artists, producers and labels to support.

While uploading releases and merch to Bandcamp is free, the company takes a cut of 15% from digital sales and 10% from merch sales. While the percentage of music sales reduces to 10% once an artist accumulates $5000 in revenue on the site, the cut is a significant take for emerging artists, who have a long way to go to reach such a high goal.

Bandcamp Day takes place from midnight to midnight in Pacific Standard Time in the US. In AEST, that’s from 5pm Friday June 19 to 5pm Saturday June 20. Check out this spreadsheet to find names of artists and labels you should consider supporting.

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