The short story: Milwaukee Record has set up a GoFundMe relief fund so we can weather the COVID-19 crisis and come out on the other side stronger than ever. You can donate HERE. (Thank you!) In order to help things along, we’ll be hosting a “14-Hour Socially Distant Telethon” via Facebook Live on Tuesday, April 14 (Milwaukee Day!), from 10 a.m. until midnight. In addition to highlighting ourselves, we’ll be highlighting the many, many other Milwaukee institutions that are in need. Tune in! It’s gonna be weird!

The long story: Since launching in April 2014, Milwaukee Record has become a unique part of the local media landscape. The site garners millions of page views annually, hosts more than 50 events each year, and keeps its readers both informed and entertained on a daily basis by publishing over 1,000 articles per year.

Milwaukee Record has always been—and always will be—an independent and free publication thanks to support from advertisers and income generated by events like our concerts and film screenings. We intend to keep it that way forever, but with the vast majority of our clients being affected by COVID-19 and all of our events now on indefinite hold (or canceled, in some cases), our only revenue streams have been greatly impacted. That’s why for the first—and hopefully only—time in the history of Milwaukee Record, we are turning to our readers for direct financial support.

We are humbly asking for donations so that we may cover basic operational expenses and so that we may continue to pay our videographers and our incredible arsenal of contributors their regular rates as we wait for clients to recover and return to Milwaukee Record. We simply want to maintain our level and caliber of output during this pandemic and be in a position to move forward stronger and more motivated than ever after it. The amount we’re asking for is only part of what we’ll need to do that, but it would be a tremendous relief that would ease our burden and allow us to focus our time and energy on doing what we love and what we’ve done on a daily basis since April 2014: celebrate and elevate the people, places, and things that make Milwaukee special.

We’ll be hosting a “14-Hour Socially Distant Telethon” on Facebook Live this April 14 where we’ll also be seeking donations, but we invite you to donate any time before or after that as well. Regardless of when you donate, we’ll be offering the following incentives:

$15 — A Milwaukee Record sticker bundle

$50 — A Milwaukee Record shirt (black, green, or blue) and sticker bundle

$100 — 2 tickets to our August 28 “Milwaukee Day Make Up” concert at Company Brewing (and all of the above)

$500 — You and 10 friends can have a party at Milwaukee Record headquarters. We’ll order pizzas and provide snacks and drinks

$1,500 — 6 months of Lower Rectangle ads on Milwaukee Record (nearly 50 percent savings!)

What can you expect from the telethon? Milwaukee Record’s Matt Wild, Tyler Maas, and Josh Hoppert will host the shindig from their office, all the while maintaining six feet between each other at all times. There’ll be multiple installments of our new Viral Video call-in show, a live recording of My First Band (with special guest…Matt!), a “Quarantine Comedy Showcase,” impromptu games of bags, random videos from the Milwaukee Record archives, brand new video content, something Matt has planned called “I Call My Ex-Girlfriend From The ’90s So She Can Poke Holes In My Story About The Time We Saw Jon Bon Jovi Take Part In An Awkward Q&A,” probably some video games, and much more. Oh, and it’ll be split into two back-to-back seven-hour chunks, with the later chunk being the “After Dark” portion. We’ll probably get drunk! See you on the 14th!