An annual fundraising event is once again getting the bands — and the lawyers — back together for a concert to benefit the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation.
Lawyerpalooza is back for another set after a successful performance last year, this time virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. The concert series, revived after a hiatus with a comeback performance at River City Roll last year, is working with The Broadberry to present three hours’ worth of sets by bands with at least one attorney in their ranks.
The nonprofit Greater Richmond Bar Foundation once again enlisted event organizers Robbie Bassett, a senior in-house counsel at Capital One, and Tommy Bishop, a guitar-playing associate at Blackburn, Conte, Schilling & Click.
Bassett said the desire was there to hold a follow-up to last year’s event, which he said raised nearly $14,000 for GRBF and brought out more than 150 people. But the pandemic’s restrictions on live social gatherings meant a change in approach.
“We certainly had it in our minds that we were going to continue this year, and then obviously once COVID hit, it changed everything,” he said. “But then GRBF reached out to me and Tommy Bishop and said, ‘Hey, would you guys want to try to figure this out?’
Using the Broadberry’s YouTube channel, tonight’s event will be livestreamed starting at 7 p.m. with the three bands each performing an hourlong set on the venue’s stage. Due to timing logistics and to maintain health precautions, the first two performances will be pre-recorded from earlier in the day, while the final band will play live around 9 p.m.
“I will say, without getting Broadberry, if we’d been trying to pull this off on our own in some way, it would have been a disaster,” Bassett said, laughing. “They’ve been forced to figure out the infrastructure, but they’ve been doing this for a couple of months at this point. (Co-owner) Lucas Fritz over there has been incredibly helpful.”
This year’s lineup includes, in order of appearance: Dead Letter Officers, an R.E.M. cover band with David Bernhardt of FloranceGordonBrown on guitar; Soul Providers, a local soul band and Lawyerpalooza alum led by Steve Webb of Parcell, Webb & Baruch; and Wild Common, a Charlottesville-based band with Rob Hubbard of the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society on drums.
Capital One is the presenting sponsor for the event, which includes support from Belle Isle Moonshine and Ardent Craft Ales. Bassett said Belle Isle is offering free delivery for attendees who enter an event code, and Ardent is providing a 10 percent discount on orders with a code.
While this year’s event does not involve ticket sales, it’s nonetheless a fundraising event for GRBF, Bassett said, adding that messaging during the livestream will invite viewers to make donations online.
“The logistics of (ticket sales), trying to lock it down in some way, it just didn’t seem like it made sense,” Bassett said. “We also just wanted to use this as an opportunity to raise as much awareness as possible, and show that, even under these circumstances, this event can continue.”