Article Contributed by Greg Knight | Published on Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Chris Friday, Tour Manager for Mike Gordon, Warehouse Manager for Phish, former Production Manager at Higher Ground, and energetically outrageous singer for Touchpants recently received the devastating news his son, Iggy, was diagnosed with acute lymphoid leukemia at 11 years old. In preparation for the daunting path that lies ahead, the live music industry is rallying in support, announcing plans for a two-day virtual auction that will feature concert tickets, rare commemorative merchandise, and more. Organized by Cate Esser (Booking Agent, Promoter) and Danny Bennett (Higher Ground. Production and Stage Mgt. - Gov't Mule, Mike Gordon, GPN). #iggystrong will include donations from over 20 nationwide touring artists, venues, and photographers.

Statement From Chris Friday:

Wow.  Just wow.  My partner Barbarajean Goska and I had nothing to do with this supremely amazing gesture of kindness towards our family.  I really want to thank the organizers of this from the bottom of our hearts – our dear friends in music and in life – Cate Esser and Danny Bennett.   Cate worked with me at Higher Ground for many years involved with production and just about anything artist-related, and went on to be her own successful promoter and artist liaison in New Orleans and beyond.  She is a saint and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have ever had the pleasure of meeting her, let alone working with her.  I met Danny at Higher Ground when the 2nd (newer) version opened in 2004, and we’ve been great friends and touring buddies ever since.  Danny has been in multiple roles in stage crews and production for multiple bands including Govt. Mule, Phil & Friends, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, The Allman Brothers Band, Mike Gordon, and many others.  He also is the current production manager at Higher Ground.  He is one of the hardest working and knowledgeable guys in the industry, and has helped me through many hard times on the road, and has always had my back in multiple instances – a true friend indeed.  Danny and Cate have worked their asses off tirelessly on this, contacting hundreds of people to get this all set up, and they are incredible, loving friends. 

These dear friends set this up for us, again a gesture of kindness in the human form – and when you look at this list of phenomenal artists and businesses involved, you realize that this world does care.  Thanks to every single artist, person, business, whoever – that donated their valuable item to this auction to benefit our son.  We express our gratitude in ways that words could never convey, just thanks so much.  It’s a fun list to look at, and definitely, a unique selection of items you may never see anywhere else – these contributors went all out to help us, as you’ll see.  

Thanks again, everyone.  All the love in the world.   

Chris Friday

The auction will begin at 7:00 AM ET on Friday, March, 26th, with all items available at the opening. Bidding will close at 5:00 PM ET on Monday, March 29th. Further details can be found on the auction website. Those who wish to directly support the cause can donate using this link. 

Statement From The Event Organizers: 

“You may not know it, but you’ve probably been impacted by something [Chris Friday] was involved in at some point and now his son, Iggy has just recently been diagnosed with acute lymphoid leukemia, at 11 years old. The past year has decimated our industry and crowdfunding doesn’t feel right. So, with the help of our friends, we were able to put together an auction to help raise funds for treatment for the Fridays.  

This industry is small and we’re a family.  We’re so thankful for all of the artists and businesses who rallied behind us and helped us do an auction in 3 weeks.  We’re excited for fans to see the items and hope that we can bring awareness to childhood leukemia and the Philadelphia chromosome (which only affects 5% of ALL patients).   #iggystrong” -Chris Friday and Cate Esser

#iggystrong Auction Items: Signed Phish Fenway Poster, Mike Gordon's NYE 19 Gag outfit, 2 Lifetime Passes to Waking Windows Music Festival, Framed +Signed Henry Rollins Show Poster, Twiddle Merch Package, 4 VIP tickets to a Disco Biscuits show, Drum Lessons w/ Russ Lawton, 2 Tickets to any show @ Red Rocks during 2021-2022, Hockey Jerseys from Iggy's Hockey Team, Signed Breaking Benjamin guitar, 2 Tickets to any show at the Gorge 2021-2022, A Higher Ground VIP Outdoor package, Signed Brown Bird "Fits of Reason" LP

#iggystrong Artists / Companies / Donors: Phish, Lake Street Dive, Lettuce, The Revivalists, Tank and the Bangas, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Spafford, Goose, Umphrey's McGee, Moe., Lettuce, Higher Ground, Perpetual Groove, Gov't Mule, Jen Hartswick, Hollaback Cards, Ryan Montbleau, Mule Bar, Purrple Alien, Burlington Bobcats, Morgan Eve Swain, Amanda Rose, Liz Daino Photography 

#iggystrong Auction 

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