When Vancouver hip-hop promoter Sean Lalla heard that the death toll of Myanmar’s Cyclone Nargis had exceeded 20,000, he was reminded of the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed more than 225,000 people in 2004. It was then that he decided to do something.
“Mainstream media is the most effective marketing tool in fundraising to help deal with damage caused by natural disasters,” said Lalla, proprietor of Spectrum Entertainment Group and one of the city’s top concert promoters. “It seemed to me that media coverage of the cyclone kept taking a backseat to countless U.S. democratic debates ... so I decided to help out the best I can with the resources I have.”
Within 24 hours, Lalla and fellow promoter Sammie Jo Rumbaua had gotten more than 20 DJs onboard for a benefit to be held at Shine Nightclub (364 Water St.) this Sunday. Each DJ will get 10 to 20 minutes to spin funk, soul, hip hop and old school in what Lalla says will be “fun, organized chaos.” There is a $7 minimum donation and all proceeds will go to UNICEF’s Myanmar relief effort.
According to official figures, Cyclone Nargis has left more than 78,000 dead so far, 56,000 missing and millions more homeless. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies estimate that the death toll could reach 127,990.