It’s been over a year since our first COVID fatality here in the United States. Over 500,000 American deaths later, we are all still reeling from the effects of the spreading contagion even as we await vaccinations and, hopefully, reaching some level of “herd immunity.” Looking forward to a time when we can resume more social interaction rather than social distancing and quarantines. Don’t know about you, but I miss hugs. Glad we snuck in a few in last March when we were in Austin before the virus really became widespread.
The economic fallout of the pandemic is almost beyond measure, rippling through all levels of our society, impacting jobs, incomes, small and medium-sized businesses. That economic impact has included an indefinite suspension of live music events, not just for large concerts but small clubs as well.
That directly impacts musicians who generally rely on performing live for audiences for a big chunk of their revenue, both touring bands and local favorites. This past year has been devastating to both the live music industry and performing musicians. Having lived in Austin, the Live Music Capital of the World, for so long and knowing so many musicians as friends and many more just in passing, I feel their suffering as I hear from friends struggling to make ends meet.
Livestreaming music has offered a bit of a lifeline for fans and musicians alike. While not as fulfilling or lucrative for most working musicians, more than a few artists have taken to giving virtual performances for fans. A thousand miles (and 4 years) away from our old home in Austin, my wife and I have been enjoying livestreamed music from some of our favorite artists right in our living room this past year.
In fact, we’ve been able to hear more of our favorites this way than we usually would. We’re loving it. At the same time, we’re painfully aware of how much this can cost the musicians in terms of lost revenue. Virtual tip jars via PayPal and Venmo help fill the gap. Some artists can command a premium price for a professional performance feed and we have been more than happy to pay for virtual concerts by Shawn Colvin and Beat Root Revival.
Tonight, we will tune in to catch a performance by one of our favorites, singer-songwriter, David Wilcox. We’ve been watching David perform from back at the 1990 Kerrville Folk Festival and many times over in Austin. But it has been several years since we’ve seen live, so we’re basking in any online performances we can enjoy.
We’re really looking forward to this evening and invite you to join David and us in an evening of song and healing and musical medicine. Maybe we can’t dance together in the clubs and at concerts just yet, but nothing wrong with a Saturday night dance in the living room with your sweetie!