Interview: Frank Fanelli on Creating "For The Nomads" Fundraiser for Unemployed Touring Crew Members

Interview by Yising Kao

Photo: Frank Fanelli by Niles Gregory

For The Nomads is a fundraiser for touring crew members who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, started by Frank Fanelli, singer of The World We Knew, along with FTN Visionary/Partner Tatiana Danielle. Touring crew members can submit applications for the fundraiser and anyone support it by donating to the GoFundMe, buying merch, or bidding on auctioned items contributed by artists and bands. I got to chat with Frank Fanelli about his inspiration behind For The Nomads and how much the fundraiser has achieved so far!

For The Nomads Fundraiser:





Congrats on launching a successful fundraiser! For The Nomads has almost reached its current goal of $50,000 in donations (Note: The fundraiser has now surpassed its goal of $70,000!). How does it feel to have reached a large audience and impacted so many touring crew members/venue workers who need help?

Thank you! What’s crazy about this endeavor was that we only HOPED we’d be able to

raise $10,000 or so so we could help a few of our close friends in the touring world, and

it’s kind of taken on a mind of its own. By the end of the next payment round, we will

have helped over 250 different crew members worldwide.

Since you work a variety of jobs on tours, what inspired you to explore those roles rather than sticking to just one? How have your experiences shaped your perspectives on touring?

I’ve always felt like you’ll always be a more valuable asset to whatever team you’re a

part of if you’re able to handle multiple positions. A jack of all trades, master of none kind of situation. For example, bands and management teams will always look for a way to save a buck, or a spot on a bus. If you’re able to give them the option of handling the

tour management position AND the sound engineer position at the same time, you’ll be

able to make more money for yourself in the long run, and potentially lead into more, and longer job opportunities. I personally excel mostly in tour management, merchandising, and VIP coordination..but I also have been hired several times for lighting, production/stage management as well.

In addition to your hilarious shirts you’ve made to sell for the fundraiser, you’ve also partnered with other creatives who are donating a portion of their products’ proceeds to For The Nomad, and started a silent auction with items donated by artists. How did these ideas come about to branch out and expand the fundraiser?

Honestly, this has been the first time my partner (Tatiana Danielle) and I have ever done

any kind of fundraising, so we’re sticking with things we know are proven to work. We

both sell merchandise on the road, so we figured if we made a product funny or cool

enough, we could easily sell several hundred of them and give donations back to where

it counts. As far as the auction goes, we work for and are friends with dozens of artists

all who are in a tight spot as well. However, all of them want to help in some kind of way,

and have a lot of stuff just rotting away in their house. It just seemed like a no brainer to

try and put together an auction. We’ve built everything auction related ourselves on our

official site so there weren't any outside percentages taken away from the donations.

Within the first 72 hours, the site got just under 20,000 hits, over 750 bidders, and raised

over $20,000 in high bids alone. Seriously unreal!

It’s inspiring how you’ve been expressing a positive outlook and contributing to building the music industry community, especially since it’s more difficult for people who work on smaller tours to get the help they need. Do you have any general advice for touring crew members during this tough time?

I can’t stress enough how down I got on myself as soon as this pandemic hit. I was

absolutely miserable because I knew what the next 6 months of my touring schedule

looked like, and it was financially looking to be the best year of my career. What got me

out of that funk was strictly just being creative. FOR THE NOMADS is just another

creative outlet for Tatiana and I. It’s a way to use our brains for the betterment of others

in our same position. I would recommend anyone reading this just to try something new. It doesn’t have to be fundraising, but trying anything creative is better than moping

around in your room for days or weeks on end. This is a time to be productive, and learn

to build your future. You never know what kind of impact it may cause in the long run.

How do you think this pandemic will affect the future of live shows?

I’ll start out by saying these are my OPINIONS, and NOT fact. I’m no scientist, and I’m

no politician..But I don’t see our industry coming back strong any time soon. The

unfortunate impact bands, and crew members are going to see from this is the lack of

funds generated from crowds. Even if states allow venues to run at full capacities, less

fans are going to be eager to buy those tickets knowing what they know now about the

virus. Promoters are going to offer booking agents less money for each act, which

means bands will make less money guaranteed per show. Management teams will be

making a smaller commission, and hire less crew members for each tour, for less money

per week due to the budgets suffering. Bands are going to have to get really creative to

make touring financially worth it during this strange time of humanity. On the flip side,

fans are going to have to expand their pallets to new ideas, or else the live music

industry is going to crumble.