The Payback was started by Eddie Roberts, guitarist and bandleader of UK Funk group The New Mastersounds. After living in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco for several years, Eddie developed a real sense of connection to the community and felt the day-to-day reality of the burgeoning homeless situation in his neighborhood. There is currently a mass displacement of families occurring within the Bay Area; families with young children are often hit hardest with these changes.
Eddie decided to address this issue directly through partnering with various artists, musicians and other nonprofits to raise funds for organizations that are working to make a real difference in the lives of homeless families. The Payback benefit concerts have raised tens of thousands of dollars over the past two years in both San Francisco and Denver, CO. The Payback also has plans to expand to other major cities in the US over the next several years.
On March 20 & 21 of 2015, Denver Funk Fans gathered for two nights of music for a cause at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom. Eddie Roberts along with an all-star lineup of musicians came together to raise funds to help support the homeless children in the Denver Public School System. The Denver Payback benefitted Denver’s Road Home and Denver Public Schools Homeless Education Network which services the 2,000 school children currently identified as homeless in Denver.
The Payback featured these artists:
Eddie Roberts (The New Mastersounds), Oteil Burbridge (The Allman Brothers), Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters), Robert Walter, Mike Dillon (Garage A Trois / Mike Dillon Band), Gabe Mervine and Matt Pitts (The Motet) w/ Liebermonster – FRIDA
This is how the funds were dispersed:
$3,000 to purchase 60 -$50 King Soopers emergency food cards
$2,000 to purchase 51 RTD student bus passes at $39.00 each
$2,000 to purchase student supplies: backpacks, school uniforms, school fees, socks/underwear, hygiene supplies and shoes for the 15-16 school year
$3,000 to purchase emergency motel nights for families when shelters are full and cannot access vouchers from DHS and for first months rents and deposit
Thank you to all of you who came out to support the shows, bid on and purchased an auction item, and donated a backpack for the students!