From Ken Kirkland
COVID-19 is infecting our health and our wealth. That might not be too big of a deal to Wall Street and large corporations but for us normal working-class musicians and venue owners it definitely is.
Musicians who put all their work and money into touring and playing shows have had to cancel gigs and don’t get that money back. Small venues, new and old, which give these working bands a home have also had to close their doors. It’s starting to feel like the coronavirus is more likely to kill the music scene than the people in it.
It’s our duty as fans to help out as much as we can to save our beloved music scenes. Whether that’s here in the wiregrass or in the Florida panhandle, there’s still ways to keep the scene from going broke.
Streaming music on Spotify is an easy way to throw your favorite band/artist a few extra bucks. They don’t make very much but if you hit your mute button and play their album on repeat every night, that’s still a little something that can help them out.
Another obvious way to help is to buy their merch. Selling merch is where a lot of bands make most of their money, so buy their shirts, vinyl, pins, whatever. And if you can, leave them a little tip as well. You can also just straight-up Venmo or cashapp your favorite band/artist a donation to help keep them afloat. If they haven’t already provided a Venmo/cashapp account for fans to reach out and help, I’m sure no one would be opposed if you reached out via Twitter, Instagram/Facebook messenger, or email about it.
Many venues also have their own merch, as well as Venmo/cashapp accounts you can donate to. Also buying advance tickets could be vital to small venues currently taking a huge hit in profits due to this outbreak. Who knows, maybe that ticket you buy for that show in September is the one that helps them make their rent this month?
Because of self-quarantining, live shows had to adapt. It’s irresponsible right now for obvious reasons to attend a live show but that doesn’t mean you can’t see one. Musicians are throwing “virtual” events on their social media outlets like Instagram or Facebook live and providing a Venmo/cashapp account for you to donate instead of paying the door or dropping cash in the ole tip jar.
New ideas on how to keep our local scene alive during quarantine are still popping up. It’s awesome to see our music community come together whole heartedly during this crisis. If you have any ideas don’t be afraid to make it happen. And don’t forget, posting about and giving exposure to your fellow bands and artists is always helpful. Share their stuff.
That’s all I got. I will say this though, our wiregrass area community of musicians is strong. We’re a bunch of badass’s who will survive this. I 100% can not wait to see all you guys and gals again. I love y’all, stay safe and don’t forget to wash your freakin’ hands!
From Ken Kirkland