This post is a bit off topic for me, but I felt it was a great story I wanted to share with you all.
Last Friday on October 19th, a week after their show here in Memphis, The Avett Brothers and Cheerwine joined together to do the Legendary Giveback charity concert in Charlottesville, VA. Fans could pay to see the show live, and all the proceeds would be donated back to charity. Or, if you could not make it to the show, it was streamed live on the internet for all to watch.
For those who don’t know (like I didn’t), Cheerwine is a cherry drink, mainly sold in the South, but has expanded to a national level as well. It is sold in several stores throughout Memphis. Cheerwine is a soft drink, but doesn’t contain any cola. Tom Barbitta, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Cheerwine, describes it as “an iconic brand. It’s been around since 1917 with a flavor all of its own. We therefore do not consider ourselves an ordinary cherry soda. Our flavor that always surprises is probably the main reason the brand has been around for 95 years”. You heard right. 95 years. Cheerwine was founded in 1917 as an independent, family owned company, which they still are today.
The Avett Brothers grew up drinking Cheerwine. As Seth Avett explains, “One of the greatest treats of my time at home in North Carolina is going to a small gas station out in the country of Rowan County and getting Cheerwine in a glass bottle. It has been for many years”. The partnership between the band and the company has grown over the last few years, as they realized they share similar values.
One of the main shared values is community involvement and giving back. Cheerwine was looking to do something nice for their fans, and they saw The Avett Brothers as a model philanthropic group in which to partner. Barbitta says, “The people who drink Cheerwine are so important to us and we wanted to do something special for them to show them how much we truly care”. This charity show raised money for three organizations, of which both parties were proud to represent: Operation Homefront; Big Brothers, Big Sisters; and The University of Virginia Children’s Hospital. The organizations were chosen based on the diverse groups they serve, in order to help as many different people as possible.
This concert featured several classics, but many songs focused on the new album The Carpenter. The new album is a focus on where the guys are in their lives now. They say they do not write for albums. “Since we are writing constantly, we never think in terms of ‘writing for a record’. We just take our most current chapter into the studio and do our best to let those ideas which excite us the most take us on a trip that will lead to a piece that make sense to us and is something we are proud of,” Avett says.
Cheerwine and The Avett Brothers say this is certainly not their last charity endeavor. Be on the lookout for future charity concerts and ways to get involved and give back as well.