Scott Mirkin understands the challenges in running a live, hour-long variety show online, but he expects things to flow freely during PHLove, Thursday evening’s fundraiser to benefit the PHL COVID-19 Fund.
No studio? No problem. The show will go live with the help of Mirkin’s ESM Productions in Philadelphia, which has produced the annual Welcome America festival and other blockbusters.
Mirkin is working with Live Nation Philadelphia president Geoff Gordon and Live Nation Urban president Shawn Gee as executive producers of the show.
“The big difference is with social distancing and everybody working remotely,” Mirkin said. “That is a relatively new phenomenon, using technology, kind of stretching the limits to some of the consumer stuff, and there is some professional technology out there that is designed to kind of hybrid that.”
The show will be headlined by Daryl Hall, Questlove, and Patti LaBelle. It will also feature DJ Jazzy Jeff, Amos Lee, DJ Diamond Kuts & Friends, WALLO267, Jeffrey Gaines, Jay Buchanan of Rival Sons, “The Geator” Jerry Blavat, and Pastor Alyn Waller and the Enon Tabernacle Fresh Anointing. Expect some surprise guests as well, Mirkin said.
The producers said the artists who have agreed to appear on the show helped make it possible to pull together something like this in a matter of weeks.
“Most everybody announced their buy-in nearly immediately after they checked their schedules to make sure they could do it,” Gordon said.
The show is being presented by the Middleton family, Phillies managing partner John S. Middleton and his wife, Leigh. Their children, Francie Middleton and John Powers Middleton, have been big supporters of the COVID-19 Fund. The fund is a collaboration established by the City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Foundation, and the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. To date, 383 Philadelphia-area nonprofits have received more than $13 million in grants, and the fund has raised more than $16 million.
“We want to make sure we share the great work of the fund and the needs of the community,” Mirkin said. “We are giving folks an hour of a musical journey that is Philadelphia-region centric in genre, in personality, in origination of song, and that is what folks are going to experience.”