Baseball is back, and appropriately, so is the annual Hot Stove Cool Music festival. The longstanding charity event that merges music and the greatest game ever played celebrates its 20th year in 2020, and like all things, is going digital during the pandemic age: Hot Stove takes to the livestream tonight (June 25) at 8 p.m. ET for its first virtual event, broadcast on YouTube.
The virtual Hot Stove Cool Music replaces the cancelled IRL Chicago concert, planned for last week at The Metro, with proceeds benefiting Theo and Paul Epstein’s Foundation To Be Named Later (FTBNL), which will raise money for youth and families from Chicago and Boston neighborhoods impacted by recent events. Tickets start at a $5 donation via ftbnl.org.
The new online presentation allows for greater star power, and this year’s Hot Stove lineup packs quite a wallop. Appearing tonight are a mix of music and baseball all-stars, with performances and appearances by Steven Tyler, Common, James Taylor, Dropkick Murphys, Mike O’Malley, Band of Their Own (featuring Letters to Cleo’s Kay Hanley and Belly’s Tanya Donelly and Gail Greenwood), Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Bill Janovitz, Robyn Hitchcock, Nick Low, Nada Surf, Eli “Paperboy” Reed, Will Dailey, Jason Narducy, David Ortiz, Bronson Arroyo, Kevin Youkilis, Bernie Williams, Lenny DiNardo, The 45, Ted Leo & Aimee Mann, David Ross, Eduardo Perez, Joel Murray, Ryan Dempster, and others.
Quite a list!
“So many have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 crisis,” says Hot Stove co-founder and sports writer legend Peter Gammons. “During this time, raising money is crucial to help continue to support youth and families from underserved neighborhoods in Boston and Chicago. We couldn’t imagine a summer without a show, so we are excited to bring the virtual concert directly into people’s homes and, as always, we remain grateful for the musicians, sponsors, and fans who make this possible.”