Syracuse ‘Fund the Bern’ Concert Raises $16,000

On Jan. 8, more than 700 people packed the Palace Theatre in Syracuse to “Fund the Bern.” Local music venue Funk ‘N Waffles hosted the benefit concert to support presidential candidate Bernie Sanders—and it made more than $16,000 in one night.

Photo by Carol Thoryk O’Leary

Syracuse musicians Joe Driscoll and Charley Orlando organized the grassroots event to raise awareness about Sanders’ platform and registering to vote

The Friday night show featured guest speakers and musicians from the Central New York community like Colleen Kattau, Jane Zell, Irv Lyons Jr., Grupo Pagan, Dave Risen, Root SHOCK, the Fat Peace, Subsoil, Castle Creek, Mage IX, Chris Merkley and Sophistafunk. Popular Syracuse food trucks PB&J’s Lunch Box, LLC and The Chicken Bandit were on hand to provide food.


On the event’s Facebook page, Driscoll shared a lengthy thank you letter, recounting the evening’s success:

“There are win-win situations, and then there’s whatever last night was—win-win times twelve, such good vibes, so many great performances, great food and tons of new volunteers recruited for the [Bernie] Sanders’ campaign… We raised awareness, we raised massive funds, we raised the roof and we raised some spirits. Most importantly, the sense of community in the room was so strong; it blew me away. And I haven’t danced and smiled that much in a while.”

Driscoll also reported that the volunteer group is planning to hold another concert at the historic Palace on James Street in April to continue raising funds for Sanders’ campaign, and he encouraged interested people to stay tuned via Facebook.

Photo by Dave Frisina