GoFundMe page set up to help Russian Circles following gear theft and System of a Down tour cancelation

Russian Circles
(Image credit: Russian Circles / GoFundMe)

A GoFundMe page has been launched on behalf of Russian Circles, who were the victims of a massive gear theft earlier this week.

The fund-raiser – which raised nearly $17,000 in an hour after it went live, and now sits at over $60,000 – was created by the band's manager Cathy Pellow to help mitigate the financial losses incurred by the band.

“Russian Circles are one of the most hardworking bands I've met,” she writes. “As their manager it has been so hard to watch them suffer back-to-back financial losses because of this pandemic – first with a full European tour cancelation that left them deeply in debt and now having all their gear stolen while out in California for their first shows back in two years. We then found out our insurance had lapsed and none of it would be covered. 

“If that was not enough today we got the final blow of having both of their Los Angeles shows be canceled the day before, due to circumstances completely beyond our control.”

Russian Circles had been supporting System of a Down on a short US tour, which was due to wrap up with two shows at the Banc of California Stadium on October 22 and 23, but was rescheduled to February 2022 following frontman Serj Tankian's positive COVID-19 diagnosis yesterday (October 21).

Pellow continues: “We really hoped that the stolen gear would somehow be found so that we would not have had to ask for so much help,” she says, adding that the band “have had no leads” and that “getting any of [the gear] back seems unlikely”.

“Now, the loss of income and merch sales from these two big shows is leaving them with just too many un-recoupable expenses for me not to ask our music-loving community to help them.”

The enormous list of the band's missing gear includes several electric guitars – among them two Gibson Les Paul Customs, and a one-of-a-kind First Act baritone guitar – two Quilter Overdrive 202 amp heads, Darkglass, Emperor and Peavey cabs, a Moog Minitaur synth, as well as guitar pedals, microphones and drum hardware.

Russian Circles

(Image credit: Russian Circles)

According to the band, the gear was stolen “on the night/early morning of October 17” from a U-Haul truck parked in a Holiday Inn parking lot Chowchilla, California. They encourage anyone with information to email them at russiancircles@sargenthouse.com.

The outpouring of support from the music community following the theft has been huge. Not only have fans donated nearly $60,000 to help the band recover financially, but earlier this week aluminum guitar builder Electrical Guitar Company gifted bassist Brian Cook a brand-new Series Two bass guitar.

Similar to Cook's stolen Series Two bass, though with block inlays rather than dots, the newly-built bass can be seen in a new post on the company's Instagram page. “Somehow the stars aligned on our end with available parts, so here’s Brian’s new bass,” the brand writes in its accompanying caption.

For more information, or to make a donation, head to the band's GoFundMe page.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.