Article: Hanson inviting fans to walk barefoot

By | September 23, 2008

Band will donate $1 per person until around the world amount is reached
September 18, 2008 – 10:07AM

The brothers Hanson – Isaac, Taylor and Zac – have but a small goal: to walk around the world, barefoot.

Well, not literally. But the rock band of brothers is continuing a tradition they started about 70 or so concerts ago, where the band, with fans, do a one-mike walk without shoes in order to raise awareness and fight poverty and AIDS in Africa.

Isaac said during a recent interview that those who choose to do the one-mile walk with Hanson would have $1 donated toward a cause in Africa. “They put their name down and mark the cause they want to support, whether it’s research; whether it’s medicine; or education, such as building a school; or shoes or drilling a fresh well,” he said.

Those wanting to participate can visit where the location for the walk before the band’s Tuesday evening concert at St. Louis’ The Pageant will be announced at least three hours before the show. Usually the walk takes place very near the concert venues where Hanson performs.

“People have said, ‘Are you sure you want to walk barefoot in that area?'” Isaac said about some of the busier locales the band has toured. “You know what, the African kids don’t have a choice.”

The first round of walks the band participated in was to get shoes to African children, and TOMS Shoes donated 50,000 shoes last fall to the effort.

“Through they can set up their own walks in their own city,” Isaac added. Those who choose to do a barefoot walk with their friends can then send a list of names via the Web site. “We will donate a dollar on their behalf and the goal is 24,902 people, which is the amount of miles it takes to get around the world.”

Hanson’s latest album is “The Walk,” the second on the label the brothers started in 2004, 3CG, and it has been garnering hot reviews. The Village Voice called Hanson, “the finest straight-up rock band in America.”

“I would describe our fan base as aggressive music listeners,” Isaac said. “Everything from the kid in a Polo shirt to goths (and) anything in between. ……. You never know who might be a fan of the band.”

Hanson came to fame in 1997 with the 4 million-selling “Middle of Nowhere,” thanks mainly to the smash hit “MMMBop.” Special guests for the concert are The Veronicas and Everybody Else. Tickets for the Tuesday concert are $25 in advance or $27 the day of the show.

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