Mark Knopfler’s signed Strat, Eric Clapton’s autographed Martin and more raffled to support COVID-19 relief

Stagehand is running a gear giveaway for COVID-19 relief
(Image credit: Stagehand)

UK charity Stagehand has launched #ILoveLive, a massive guitar and gear prize draw campaign to raise funds for production staff and stage crew impacted by the loss of work due to the COVID-19 industry shutdown.

Among the many guitars on offer, all signed by the respective artists, include: Eric Clapton’s personal signed Martin custom shop OM Bob Gruhn acoustic; a replica of Nile Rodgers’ 1957 ‘Hitmaker’ Fender Stratocaster; Mark Knopfler’s Strat from his 2019 world tour; Liam Gallagher’s Les Paul Studio electric; and Thompson Twins frontman Tom Bailey’s ESP electric that he played at Live Aid in Philadelphia in 1985.

Fans can choose which artists they want to buy tickets for, and increase their chances of winning by purchasing multiple tickets. Tickets are priced at £5 each.

Stagehand is running a gear giveaway for COVID-19 relief

Clapton’s Martin custom shop OM Bob Gruhn acoustic (Image credit: Stagehand)

The auction is being presented in partnership with Crowdfunder UK, which has waived all platform fees. Stagehand, a charity dedicated to providing hardship funding for live events industry workers, aims to raise at least £1 million before Christmas.

A former stage manager who has already received a grant from Stagehand said: “I can’t express how much this is going to help me. I woke up in tears this morning, upon the realization that I had less than £10 to my name. I was desperately wondering how I was going to survive for the rest of the month when £500 landed in my account from Stagehand.

“Stagehand and all of the people who are creating fundraising projects are doing such an amazing thing for those of us who are currently unable to work in live music, and who have been unsuccessful in finding other work.”

Stagehand is running a gear giveaway for COVID-19 relief

Knopfler’s Fender Strat from his 2019 world tour (Image credit: Stagehand)

The #ILoveLive campaign has been spearheaded by artist manager and promoter David Stopps, with Andy Lenthall and Mike Lowe at Stagehand.

Said Lowe, “Artists, festivals and venues just want to get back to work and the public are hungry to see live entertainment again. No live show of any kind can happen without the skills and expertise of the army of live events workers. I am sure that the live events industry workers who we can help, will join me and my fellow trustees in expressing our massive appreciation for making all of this happen in the most difficult and unprecedented of times.”

Added Stopps: “When I heard about the 10th suicide among stage crew in late August I knew I had to do something. Stage crew are not only suffering great financial hardship but most are also experiencing ill mental health. Money raised from these prize draws will actually save lives and help to safeguard their future.”

The Stagehand draw remains open until 6:00pm on December 17. The winners will be chosen on December 23 and prizes will be sent out in January.

To check out all the gear on offer, head to Crowdfunder (opens in new tab).

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Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.