The event has raised over $30,000 in the past two years and aims to raise money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation’s patient financial assistance program. The program helps alleviate the financial burden that often comes along with a diagnosis. It covers costs such as lodging, medication, transportation and childcare.
The 24 Hour Gig-a-Thon is exactly what it sounds like – A non-stop marathon of live music for a full day! From 8 AM to 8 AM, there will always be at least one Dungaree on stage playing as they invite fellow local acts to join in on the festivities.
In anticipation of the event, we asked The Dungarees a few questions about their 3rd Annual 24 Hour Gig-a-Thon. Check out what they had to say below!
1. How did the idea for a “Gig-a-Thon” come about?
We knew we wanted to do a fundraiser for quite a while and had tossed around a few ideas but none of it seemed to really resonate. We were actually sitting in our green room at Boots and Hearts in 2016 when the idea first came up. Someone said, “Fighting Cancer is a round the clock battle, not just a two hour concert” We could have just held a concert and donated the proceeds but we felt that in order to really make a statement, we had to do something that we put blood, sweat, and tears into. That’s how the 24-Hour-Gig-a-thon was born.
2. What is it like performing for 24 hours straight?
It’s strange to play first thing in the morning but at that point everyone is excited and rested so there’s a great atmosphere kicking things off. Throughout the day it’s great to see new people coming and going. There are fans bringing their families in. It’s been the first concert for several kids – the next generation of Dungarees fans! And then in the evening, it really turns into a concert vibe and the party gets going. Sometime around 3-4 AM, the band starts to get pretty delirious and a lot of “slow-jams” start happening which then descend into Neil Young covers that we only know one verse of. Then around 6 AM, our pal Katherine brings us coffee and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The TV morning news crews come in and we get our sixth wind of the night. It always ends off the way it starts; with an excited atmosphere surrounded by our close friends and families, and so much anticipation of the prospect that we’ll be able to sleep!
3. Which acts are you most excited to perform with?
All of the acts are so talented and diverse. It’s always a bit of “heads up hockey” because we don’t often have time to rehearse with the guests so we’re having a lot of fun trying to follow along. Later in the night, the more “interesting” notes get played! Everyone has so much fun though.
4. Is there anything you’d like to let the readers know about the Alberta Cancer Foundation and how important of a cause this is?
The Alberta Cancer Foundation has a special fund called the Patient Financial Assistance Program. All funds raised through the Gig-a-Thon are allocated to this program. There are many unexpected costs associated with a cancer diagnosis and everyone’s situation is different. Some of these expenses include lodging, transportation, prescriptions, childcare and many others. The Patient Financial Assistance Program helps relieve the financial burden for those who need it so patients can focus on treatment and not on paying bills. We believe in this program because it’s make an immediate, meaningful impact in the lives of folks who are undergoing various forms of cancer treatment.