Help Musicians Hit Hard By COVID-19 Shutdowns In CNY
COVID-19, the day the music died. Many gigs have been canceled for local musicians due to the mandatory closures and NYS on pause.
Food industry workers are not the only ones affected by the shutdown of local eateries and watering holes; our musicians are struggling as well. We've seen national concert tours canceled or postponed, Broadway is 'dark,' and there is no live local entertainment because of the coronavirus.
Just like restaurants and takeout menus, there are ways to help local bands. Try purchasing their music, watch a live-stream performance, and leave an electronic tip, buy the band's merchandise directly from them, or put them to work if possible.
Thanks to musicians who sent in a statement:
Hi Cindy. Dave Porter here. Bored, watching a lot of movies, playing with the dogs. Probably a dozen gigs canceled so far. I'm making tracks for new songs in my little studio....if we ever get out of this I wanna have some fresh material 🙂 Hope you and all you love, stay safe.
Performing is my main source of income and it disappeared overnight like many servers and other folks in the service industry. Luckily I was able to use my other skills to find some side work in construction.
Ghost Town Ramblers released an official video for our song Better Left Unsaid, and we have posted an hour-long live performance on FB.
Tim Moyer, college agent, Gridley Paige:
We lost ALL our bookings for March, April, and May. My artists are now feeling the pinch. Some of my colleges are still having online events. I'm trying to transition some artists to virtual artists. We in Gridley Paige are just dealing with this daily. We are currently thinking about new ideas for shows when we return. We are also working in new material and possibly some originals again. We are possibly going online acoustic. We won't be asking for tips but just be entertainment in this time of need. For not like our song we just have to "Believe" https://youtu.be/snSCN_Bq8CY
Mitch Eckler, The Old Main:
Thanks for writing telling this story because this is an unprecedented hardship for Musicians.
The magnitude of the pandemic is huge. Most musicians will diversify their income streams so that they can create an environment that allows them to play. Some players have a day job but a lot of people will double down on work within their own industry.
For example, it's very common to see a buddy of yours on stage Saturday then setting up for a big show at the casino on Tuesday, then running sound for a venue Thurs Fri.
Because of the pandemic’s size, not just one but all of those income streams have disappeared within 36 hours.
The best way to help them is obviously straight cash donations to bands or performers you like.
Do this in the way of watching for their live streams and kicking in whatever you are comfortable with.
Asking them if they need supplies... the grocery stores are barren, they’re hunting items too. But they may have less to hunt with. It might be cool to just pick up a couple of things on their list if you spot them.
Buying merch, be aware this may not be as helpful as you’d like. Everyone structures their merch differently and some of that stock is in a different location that will require them to go get it and pay to have it shipped to you. Most bands use merch at shows and the cash from it to buy more merch to expand the brand of the band. So if you're buying remotely at the advertised price online just know they could be their own distributor and those prices listed are break-even for them if they have to ship it.
Find them work- Are you not affected by the pandemic and still need some help... maybe you need something maybe your office or business could still use help. Private contracting can still be a savior here. A lot of these artists will be proficient with editing software and graphic image software. Put them to work.
Musicians can fortunately still expose themselves through social media and create income streams through live performances. But we need to remember all of the crew people that can't do any of that.
Our local Sound company calendars have been emptied until September. They have no means of recourse. They’re a “little guy” too in this picture.
All of the stagehands their lively hood has vanished in 36 hrs. They need our help too.
It's hard to include the entire entertainment industry in this story but those people count and should be mentioned.
Thank you so much for telling this story. Were really hurting here. Booking companies are talking about august. That's how far away our paychecks are.
Thanks Cindy, hope to see you soon. Happy Quarantine! 💕
I have not had anything cancelled yet, and I say yet, because my first gigs of the year start in May. I fully expect to have some of them canceled. I’m lucky because I don’t solely depend on the income from performing, but my heart goes out to those who do. I have many friends who have been affected by this, and I’m seeing them struggle. I would suggest contacting your local musicians, and purchase their merchandise. Buy their CD’s, Albums, Shirts, and anything they are selling. If you purchase it directly from them, they are sure to receive the money. If they do any live stream performances, and they have a virtual tip jar, tip them. And while you do that, order take out from your favorite venue. They need our help too. Stay safe, stay happy, and stay healthy.
If you have any thoughts on how to help our local musicians please let us know in the comments below.