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Musicians unite on Friday to raise funds for Australia


Walt Hamburger has had a helpless feeling amid the continual stream of tragic news arriving from Australia.

And he quickly learned he wasn’t alone.

Hamburger, well known locally for his support of animal welfare efforts, wanted to contribute in some way toward saving lives. And it was a warm surprise to find out just how many wanted to join him.

On Friday, we can all pitch in.

Deja Vu Martini Lounge on Friday will host a variety of Fox Valley musicians for the Australia Wildfire Animal Fundraiser. It’s an all-star show for an unprecedented reason.

Australia’s wildlife crisis continues to grow as wildfires have taken animal lives in the billions.

“It’s an unimaginable number of anything,” Walt said. “We can’t fix that, but we can make a small impact.”

Walt said the response from musicians and from music fans in the Fox Valley has been incredible. 

It’ll be free show, though performers are counting on some generosity from the audience.

The audience will get one hell of a performance in return.

Artists on tap include Walt Hamburger, Car City (Acoustic), Christopher Gold, Texas Butter Todd Levi Besaw (Cave Paintings), Kurt Gunn, Nicholas Raymond, Emilie Ganiere, Jon Wheelock (J-Council), John Bernard (The Chocolateers) and Taylor Greenwood. 

Walt was already booked for a show at Deja Vu and had the idea to do something more with it. The venue was on board. He went to his friends list.

Walt Hamburger

“I can’t believe how many yeses I got,” he said. “The only nos I got were from those who physically could not be there.”

Donations will go to charities recommended by Australian music artist Laura Mardon, who joins Hamburger on One Week Records. They’ll go through the Walt Hamburger Foundation, a 501c3 organized to raise money for animal rescues and arts causes.

Hamburger is still looking for businesses that are willing to pitch in.

For those who can’t make it out for a great night of live music, you can still do your part. The foundation is accepting donations through Paypal, so click here to add your contribution. Put Australia in the notes to ensure the donation is put toward the fundraiser. 

The show begins at 9 p.m.