The recent wildfires in Lahaina, on the island of Maui, have been devastating. As of now, 110 people are reported dead and more than 850 people are unaccounted for, according to CNN. It is estimated that more than 2,200 buildings were destroyed, including homes (the majority of the structures lost), restaurants, bars, art galleries and surf shops. Compounding the loss of life and infrastructure is the fact that toxic materials from the fire spewed into the air and could be flushed into local waters when the next storm hits.
As is often the case when such hardship arises, the music community is responding. Several benefit concerts were held this past weekend to raise money for the victims of the Lahaina wildfires.
The first, the Wiwoʻole Maui Benefit Concert, was held on Saturday, August 19, livestreamed worldwide from the grounds of the Grand Wailea Maui. Artists scheduled to appear included three-time Grammy Award-winner Kalani Peʻa, multi Na Hoku Hanohano Award winners Amy Hanaialiʻi, Ekolu, Kamaka Kukona and Raiatea Helm, and others. The concert can still be streamed here, with options for donations
Also taking place on Saturday was the Lahaina Keiki Relief Fund Concert at Nalu’s South Shore Grill at Azeka Shopping Center Makai. Artists scheduled to appear included Sista Robi Kahakalau, Brother Noland, Anthony Pfluke, Ron Kualaʻau, Kawika Ortiz, Rama Camarillo & ʻOhana, Gilbert & Friends, and others. Proceeds will benefit children who have been displaced by the wildfires (“keiki” is Hawaiian for “child”). More info here.
Musicians on two islands participated in a live concert/broadcast fundraiser on Sunday, August 20: “Maui Ola: A Benefit Concert for Maui,” where 100 percent of proceeds support Maui United Way, Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, Hawaiʻi People’s Fund and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. The Oʻahu event took place at the Bishop Museum, and artists scheduled to appear included Kolohe Kai, Hawaiian Style Band, Pure Heart, Jerry Santos, Raiatea Helm, and the Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra. The live broadcast included performances from the Maui Ola concert on Hawaiʻi Island, which also took place on Sunday at the Parker Ranch Shopping Center.
On Friday, September 8, and Saturday, September 9, the Hana Hou Festival will feature artists including Mick Fleetwood, The Jets, Girl Named Tom, Keiko Matsui, Pure Heart, Raiatea Helm, Kimié Miner and Brother Noland. Profits from the two-day concert and donations will go to the Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund. More info here.
You can also donate to the Red Cross, which is working to shelter displaced residents. Info here.