By Louise Baker
The COVID-19 crisis has required venues to reevaluate how they can connect music lovers with musicians. How can we bring people together safely and present the same top-quality acts that patrons have become accustomed to seeing? With all businesses, there has to be a responsibility to the safety of patrons and staff members without sacrificing the bottom line; venues for music performances are no different.
The immediate availability of online, streamed concerts was like a dam breaking; the marketplace became flooded with choices. As early as the beginning of April, musicians and agents started to explore the many faceted world of livestreaming concerts on the internet. Due to sound quality and latency (coordination of audio and video), solo or partner performers have been the most successful as they do not have the issue of contamination with other band members.
At first these shows were overwhelming, and some were of poor quality, with musicians in sweats sitting in their bedrooms! Now, the pack has thinned to the more technically savvy performers who have added external cameras and audio equipment to their streaming events. We are all, however, still at the mercy of the strength and reliability of internet service.
Shows can be viewed on Facebook and YouTube even if you don’t have an account. Just click on a link found on the website of the venue or the musician.
ZOOM concerts have also become popular as they include audience participation, which is an element that has been missing for so many months for the performers. Most shows are “by donation” rather than requiring a ticket purchase. In this way, audience members who are able can donate any amount to support the artist and the venue using PayPal or Venmo links.
Isis Music Hall began these livestream shows in June to help support the artists and our venue. The shows are streamed on our online entity Mountain Spirit Acoustic Series. We want to provide a safe way to view a wonderful concert while keeping our audience connected to Isis Music Hall and the performers throughout the pandemic. Live-in-venue music will likely not return with full-capacity audiences until next summer at the earliest.
We just booked a livestream show with the legendary Tom Paxton and The DonJuans for Friday, October 2, at 7 p.m. Tickets for the concert on Crowdcast are $15. A special VIP Zoom pre-concert show at 6 p.m. includes a 45-minute meet-and-greet with Tom, Jon and Don, as well as the full concert at 7 p.m. This pre-concert event is limited to 20 participants and tickets are $50.
To find a full schedule, please visit IsisAsheville.com, and tell your friends about our series and this exciting world of livestream concerts.
Isis Restaurant and Music Hall is located at 743 Haywood Road in West Asheville. For more about livestreaming concerts or attending lawn concerts, visit IsisAsheville.com. Louise Baker owns Asheville’s Musicalou Productions, and is a talent buyer for Isis Music Hall.