Things sure have changed quickly since I last wrote about enjoying music in town. Live music as we knew it has been canceled everywhere. Even larger venues like Red Rocks are not open for business. As it should be. I hope you all realize how important the need to physically isolate from one another is.
There are a few artist relief funds that local musicians might want to research and possibly get financial support from, like MusiCares, the Boulder County Arts Alliance (BCAA), and The Blues Foundation.
Many local artists have taken to doing live shows on Facebook and other social media platforms. Virtual concerts with pay-per-view charges or through PayPal tip jars are fun and uplifting. Online presence has for some time been a huge component of the music industry; it’s even more important now with everyone self-isolating.
In an age where ticket sales drive musicians’ income rather than album sales, I encourage people to buy whatever merchandise they can afford directly from artists’ websites. Merch is already paid for by the artist, so buying directly from the artists makes sense.
One evolving idea I’ve read about is for artists to sell personal experiences to fans. For example, you could pay, at an agreed-upon price, your favorite band to learn, record, and share a cover of one of your favorite songs by another band.
There are many websites, such as nugs.net, for live music streaming. I also suggest visiting some of your favorite local and national artists’ websites and Facebook pages to see what they are up to. Music fans might designate one or two nights a week as concert nights to visit the many musicians’ online offerings. Instead of going to hear live music at a venue and paying for a ticket and buying libations, use that money to help bring your musical favorites right to your home. You might even pick up your own instrument and play along without worrying about missing a note.
Musicians need your support now more than ever and, mutually, we need their music more than ever. Some bands have been able to practice using apps like Zoom and have people jam with them through social media. Many artists with local ties are streaming live shows and fundraisers, such as Bonnie & Taylor Sims, Tyler Grant, and Arthur Lee Land.
Songs from the Road Band and Dave Abear have had some good quality events. Clay Rose from Gasoline Lollipops recently used the Jamestown Mercantile stage to stream a show, and have plans to do the same from Gold Hill Inn. Music icons such as Neil Young and Keb’ Mo’ have also put out great quality performances.
Things may have changed quickly, but one thing remains constant: Music is alive and well.