SOS 4 Paris took place at Mercy Lounge on Dec. 2. Hundreds of people in the Nashville community came together to listen to local independent artists and raise awareness for the injustice of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks.
Sophomores Jordan Griffith and Anna Halaburt watched the benefit concert unfold backstage. Just under a month ago, the event was just an idea dreamed up by the two Belmont students in Griffith’s living room.
“We wanted to do something that impacted people and made a difference,” said Griffith. “It actually started out as something we never thought we would be able to do, but in six days we got everything together. Before we knew it, the event was really happening.”
With the concert happening in such a short time, Halaburt and Griffith had to get creative in getting the word out.
“We actually used Tinder as one way to let people know about the show,” said Halaburt. “We were using all of our resources to let everyone in Nashville know that this was happening. Anything can happen if you set your mind to it.”
Both students felt compelled to unite the Nashville community and raise awareness for the people of Paris for both general and personal reasons.
“I have a bunch of family in Paris, so when the attacks happened it really hit home for me,” said Griffith. “If it were us, I would want someone to do something as well.”
At least 130 were killed in the Paris attacks and more than 300 were left injured.
A silent auction took place an hour before the event. At 5:30 p.m., performers including Josh Mirenda, Sawyer, YØUTH, Suhzan, Monica Moser, Lacy Cavalier, Taylor Puskar and Hannah Onley took the stage.
“When I was told about this idea, I immediately dropped everything and said yes to performing,” said Onley. “I have a really good friend in Paris whose family was affected by the attacks. This concert is definitely for an amazing cause, and it’s purpose has real depth.”
Many of the songs played throughout the night focused on a central theme of uniting as a community. While some artists played originals, others chose to perform covers the crowd was familiar with.
“It’s almost unreal that two college kids who have no experience in event planning or the music business were able to put on this event,” said Griffith. “It’s surreal to me that we were able to raise awareness for people in Paris by bringing Nashville together.”
At the end of the night, $1,361 was raised. All proceeds from the event went to the American Red Cross and will be distributed to areas in distress such as Paris, Mexico, Japan, Beirut, and to the refugee crisis in Syria.
“We’re all in this together,” said Halaburt. “I hope when people left the event they can stand up and know that Paris isn’t in this alone and be amazed at the unity the people of Nashville can provide.”
You can still donate to the SOS 4 Paris cause by visiting https://www.gofundme.com/songsofsolidarity/ or by volunteering with the American Red Cross in Nashville.
Article and photo by Ally Pace.