Invisible Children benefit loses purpose

By Emily Hoover |

Drift Magazine’s Invisible Children benefit concert missed the point.

Held at Café Eleven on Nov. 14, the Invisible Children benefit concert focused on partying and listening to live music, but lacked support for displaced Ugandan children.

Drift sponsored the event in conjunction with Los Angeles-based record label Indigo Planet Records and the St. Johns Cultural Council. They didn’t show any film and presented barely any literature about the Invisible Children organization.

“I love music,” Kevin Carter, a 2000 Flagler College alumnus and representative for Drift and The St. Augustine Record, said. “I’m thankful that I work for the Drift and the Record because I love raising awareness for kids—both locally and globally.”

Carter promoted bands he loves, and, other than proceeds from the $8 cover charge, he gave no voice to the displaced Ugandan children.

As the event flyer said the event was both a compilation CD release party and a benefit, the bash outweighed the cause. However, passion for music rescued the event from purposelessness.

Californian artist Alaina Alexander, a performer at the concert and former American Idol contestant, describes her music as alternative pop. Alexander says her American Idol experience is a reason she got involved in the benefit concert.

“I try to remind myself [of American Idol] everyday, because it brought music back into my life,” Alexander said. “Doing a benefit was a chance to get involved. Doing what you love plus a good cause is easy.”
Traditional ska and reggae band, The Duppies, whose members have been playing together for six years in Gainesville, felt honored to join the benefit.

Lisa Ricci, saxophone player for The Duppies, said the Invisible Children display at the Harvest of Hope Festival in March immediately caught her attention. The booth profiled the roots of children warriors in Uganda.
Amy Hendrickson & the Prime Directive, of St. Augustine, and Lettuce Olive, of Gainesville, also performed at the event.

As bigger charity events assemble in Los Angeles for the Invisible Children organization, established in 2003, popular bands Fall Out Boy and Paramore lead the charge. In fact, Fall Out Boy visited the war-torn Uganda and participated in displacement exercises, including sleeping on the streets of urban areas, aiming to mirror the country’s strife.

Though Drift meant well in its attempt to assist the Invisible Children organization, for a successful benefit, next time it should focus more on education and less on intoxication.

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