Music

Bandcamp to donate 100% of sales on June 19 to support racial justice

The music streaming service will give its profits to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

The music streaming service will give its profits to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund

The music streaming service Bandcamp has announced an annual initiative that aims to support racial justice by donating its revenue to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. (Melody Lau/CBC)

This week, the music streaming service Bandcamp announced that it would be donating 100 per cent of its share of sales on Juneteenth (June 19) to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. This initiative, according a post written by CEO Ethan Diamond, will continue annually. (Juneteenth marks the day in U.S. history when the last remaining enslaved African-Americans in the Confederacy were emancipated in 1865.)

"The recent killings of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Sean Reed, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the ongoing state-sanctioned violence against black people in the U.S. and around the world are horrific tragedies," Diamond wrote. "We stand with those rightfully demanding justice, equality, and change, and people of color everywhere who live with racism every single day, including many of our fellow employees and artists and fans in the Bandcamp community." 

In addition to donating its revenue, Diamond noted that Bandcamp is also allocating "$30,000 per year to partner with organizations that fight for racial justice and create opportunities for people of color." 

In April, Bandcamp responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by dedicating the first Friday of each month (up until and including July) to waiving their revenue shares so artists could take in all of an album or track's sales. This Friday, June 5, will mark the site's third month in a row committing to this cause.

On March 20, music fans spent $4.3 million on music and merchandise on Bandcamp. On May 1, they raised $7.1 million for artists on the platform. 

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