The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the music industry to a complete stop, at least in the traditional sense. Ticket sales have been lost for about two months now as gigs around the world have been cancelled and tours are being rescheduled. This financial stress is felt not only by artists, but the rest of the music community: event organizers, sound reinforcement and lighting technicians, production team workers, bus drivers, and the many others employed and involved at local venues.

At this point, we don’t really know when this is going to end. Personally, live music is my favorite genre, so I’m feeling incomplete. We don’t want to see a resurgence of the virus that would lead to cancelling the rest of the year, so for now let’s stay inside and adapt.

Four of Washington’s core organizations will be hosting a virtual music festival on April 18 & 19 to showcase local talent! Tune in and show your support if you can.

I have provided some ways for you to show support to our local music community during this time below. Anything helps!

  1. TUNE IN TO VIRTUAL LIVE STREAMS

This is probably the easiest way to support your favorite local artists. Since the stay at home order, musicians around the world have turned to social media platforms and taken advantage of their live features for performance. These experiences can help fans feel connected with their favorite artists during this isolation.

The best way to participate in a live stream performance is by staying present, reacting, commenting, sharing, and even tipping if the information is provided.

2. DONATE DIRECTLY TO ARTISTS

Many artists are including their Venmo, CashApp, and PayPal information in the captions of their live streams. If you have any of these apps, consider contributing a monetary donation if you have the means. Anything is better than nothing, and right now these artists are really struggling.

3. BUY THEIR MUSIC

Now is the time to stock up on your favorite artist’s CDs and vinyl records. Nothing beats a tangible album. By listening straight through and viewing the album artwork, you can truly get the full picture of what the artist is sharing. And let’s be honest, what else do you have to do right now?

4. BUY THEIR MERCH

Most artists have a website, but many local musicians do not. For those that do have a website, check out their online merchandise store. Get that t-shirt you wanted at the last gig! Buy their CD or vinyl record! As for the artists who do not have a website, consider messaging their music page to see if they have any merchandise or albums available for shipping.

Any contribution, large or small, will be appreciated. So please if you love live music, do what you can.