Earlier this week we learned that Team Rock, the umbrella company that runs Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, and Prog, is shutting down. That means the future of Metal Hammer and the like is extremely uncertain, but moreover is that 73 employees were swiftly laid off just in time for the holiday.
Instead of lamenting, Orange Goblin frontman Ben Ward immediately kicked up a fundraiser to raise £20,000 to help the Team Rock employees get through the holidays. The fundraiser still has about 27 days left to go, and has already just about doubled its goal. Bands like Avenged Sevenfold have posted the fundraiser to their page, and Avenged Sevenfold specifically has stated that it gave £1000 to the fund.
Here's what they had to say.
Heavy Metal music has been a huge part of our lives for the last 22 years or so. In the beginning the only way we were able to get news on our favorite bands was through print magazine. We would put posters on our walls and learn of all the happenings in the metal world by reading the monthly print. We would scour Tower Records (which no longer exists) for any new information we could find on our favorite bands. One of those championing magazines was Metal Hammer. Unfortunately, the world is changing and people no longer want to pay for a real product they can hold in their hands. Metal Hammer, Classic Rock magazine and Prog Magazine will no longer exist. This may not seem like a big deal to some of you but if you have ever traveled in the UK (which has one of, if not the best metal scenes in the world) you would notice that on every magazine stand heavy metal was prominently featured by these three magazines next to all of the other print that is acceptable in the mainstream. Now that it's gone it pushes metal and rock even further away from the average consciousness. Some believe in keeping heavy music underground, we don’t. This music means so much to so many including us. Our music should be inclusive and losing Metal Hammer is a major blow to all of us.
We have met many great people through the years at Team Rock and we are sure they will find great jobs soon enough. For now though, we hope you can help out the people who have dedicated their lives to promoting our favorite type of music through this crowd funding site. These are good people that don't deserve this just before Christmas. We have donated £1000 and hope you can give a little if you can find the means: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ukrockcommunity
It's worth noting that while Team Rock is likely shutting down, Metal Hammer's future is uncertain. Regardless, Team Rock posted the below video as a pretty painful tribute to 2016, stating that we've lost many, and unfortunately it has to add itself to that list.
So if you've got some extra money, definitely donate.