This is an incredibly difficult time for all of us. If you’re a working musician, you’ve had countless number of gigs canceled and lost income you will probably never recover. This is just the reality of the situation we’re in right now. We can’t even begin to guess when it will all end or, what it will be like once it does. So, what do we do in the meantime ?
I’ve seen a growing number of us “going live” on Facebook or Instagram over the past week or so. That’s one way we can keep busy and continue to engage with our audience without leaving our home. There’s no time restrictions and, with so many of us out of work at the moment, you can have a captive audience any time of the day or night. There’s a strong possibility you may reach people who have never seen or heard you perform before and establish an entirely new fan base. Some of us post links to PayPal, Venmo and other sites to generate tips. Some do it just to stay busy and share their music. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Just keep in mind that many of the people tuning in are experiencing financial hardship just like you.
Let’s talk about tips for a moment. If you are generating income from your live performances, maybe you’ll consider paying some of it forward to help others in need. One idea is to share a portion of your tips with your favorite bartender or server at a venue that you perform at on a regular basis. They may have had their hours drastically reduced or, may be out of work until this all blows over. They can’t generate income on line the way we can. I even saw a post from one musician saying he will donate 50% of his tips to any full time musician from his area who has no other income. He’s not from the Lehigh Valley but, I thought the gesture was worth noting. Whatever you do, try to remember those who can’t do anything at the moment.
Virtual open mic nights are becoming “a thing”. The first one I noticed was Chelsea Meyer’s virtual open mic last Wednesday evening. For those of you who are not familiar, Chelsea hosts an open mic night at the Leather Corner Post in Orefield every Wednesday evening from 7-10pm. She has a group page on Facebook (Open Mic Night at Leather Corner Post) dedicated to the open mic. You can ask to join the group through the Facebook page and participate from home until we get “back to normal”. There were several participants last night and, we all got 25-30 minutes to perform live. Time slots were assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Chelsea will host this event every week in it’s normal time slot and anyone is welcome. I’ve seen, and been invited to join, several others in the past week and I’m sure many more will pop up as the quarantine continues. If you are planning on hosting one, or know of someone who is, I’ll be happy to share it here.
Starting next week, the Weekly Live Music “HOT SPOTS” will be made up of scheduled live performances on Facebook or Instagram. If you have a schedule, share it with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be listed. I usually list Thurs-Sun live music schedules but, during the quarantine, I’ll list the entire week, Thur-Wed. If there are an overwhelming number of performances, I’ll do two separate posts on Thursday and Monday. On the “off” days, I’ll be doing a short article featuring the music of one local artist or band. I’ll do it on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like your music featured here, let me know through the email address above. My first feature will be the music of Resting Punk Face so, keep an eye out for that tomorrow or Saturday. Your music does not have to be original. If you are a cover band and have music on YouTube or some other on line source, I’ll share that as well. Remember, we could all use a little help from our friends so, support the local music scene in any way you can right now. Thank you for your continued support. Let’s keep the Lehigh Valley music scene alive and well.
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