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Garth Brooks concert sales generate $50K in grants for Utah artists hit by COVID-19 pandemic

The Associated Press [Jul-08-2014]

The Associated Press [Jul-08-2014] (AP file photo)

SALT LAKE CITY — If you bought a ticket for country superstar Garth Brooks's upcoming concert at Rice-Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah, you may have helped local artists and university students in the process.

The university raised about $50,000 through ticket sales to the concert, according to a Tuesday news release. Half of that money will be distributed to U. arts programs, and the other half will go toward Utah artists who were hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Artists thrive on in-person events and the loss of those during the pandemic hit the cultural sector extremely hard. In particular, performing artists have struggled because of the income they lost during the summer, fall and winter of 2020," Jill Love, executive director of the Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement, said in the release. "The money raised during this concert will provide an important safety net as they regain their footing."

Artists who receive funding through the program will be those who lost revenue through the cancellation of festivals, community celebrations, gallery shows and other events through the summer, fall and winter of 2020, the release says.

"The pandemic hit the arts sector particularly hard, so I'm excited that all of us can now rally around Utah artists in this way," Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said in the release.

The Garth Brooks concert is scheduled for July 17 at Rice-Eccles Stadium and is the first concert at the stadium by an individual artist or band since U2 played there in 2011. The concert sold out on May 6 within 30 minutes of tickets being on sale, the release says.

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