This past weekend, a notable lineup of artists joined together to put on a Concert for Charlottesville: “an evening of music and unity”. The concert—hosted by Dave Matthews who started his band in Charlottesville over 25 years ago— included Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake, Ariana Grande, The Roots, Chris Stapleton, Brittany Howard, Cage the Elephant, and surprise guests Chris Martin and Stevie Wonder. The concert begun with Dave Matthews asking the audience to rewrite Charlottesville’s narrative and refused to let the city he calls home be defined by the violent rallies that took place earlier this summer, where young anti-racist activist Heather Heyer, lost her life to a counter-protester driving their car in the middle of a crowd.
“Can’t nobody tell me what to do. If I wanna get on my knees right now for the people in my city, for the people in my state, that’s what that flag is for,” Pharrell told the cheering crowd in his home city, as he fell to both knees on stage. Justin Timberlake also supported the cause that Colin Kaepernick started and took a knee before performing Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come, with Ariana Grande. Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, took stage and after a standing ovation, encouraged those in the audience to carry on her daughter’s legacy. “Sing your hearts out. Feel the music and fill the void left by those we have lost,” Bro said. “I will be right here with Heather singing.”
The show encouraged the audience to make donations to Concert for Charlottesville Fund, organized by the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, which benefits victims and their families and “organizations devoted to the promotion of healing, unity and justice in the Charlottesville community and nationally.”
Shouts to all the performers, special guests and attendees for joining together for a night of love, peace and unity, during a time when we are faced with hate. Check out a clip of Pharrell taking a knee and recap pics of the concert below.