Harry Shearer and Judith Owen, the creators of the annual Christmas Without Tears Variety Charity program, have announced that the benefactors of 2020's virtual concert will be Help Musicians, New Orleans Musicians Clinic, Music Venue Trust, and National Independent Venue Associations. The creators both recognized the drastic effects that the coronavirus pandemic has had on musicians and the music industry, so they decided to help benefit music communities in the U.S. and in the UK.
The two UK charity organizations are Help Musicians, which aims to help musicians grow in their career, and Music Venue Trust, which improves, maintains, and helps to organize music venues in the UK. The two U.S. charities are New Orleans Music Clinic, which is a nonprofit organization that provides medical care to musicians and artists, and the National Independent Venue Association, which organizes independent music venues and festivals.
The Christmas Without Tears Variety Charity initiative was started as a humble holiday house party by Shearer and Owen, yet it was transformed into a charity event in 2005, when it was staged to specifically help the communities of New Orleans after Katrina. Since then, they've decided to prioritize helping the wider community with the funds earned from the program.
This year's virtual concert will be held Friday, December 11, at 4 p.m. CST, and will be hosted by Shearer and Owen themselves. Guest video appearances will include that of Richard Thompson, Jon Cleary, Julia Fordham, Steve Kukather, and Ringo Starr, among others. If you can't watch it live, your webcast order allows you to watch it as many times as you want within a 48-hour period. Click here to order your webcast now.