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Musicians - not down and not out

Not Down and Not Out

For a semi-pro Musician, these are indeed difficult times. Many performers rely on the pub and club circuits for income, and similarly licensed premised are dependent on regular trade. Boosted by the followers of artists at both paid and open mic type events.

Across Cambridgeshire, the total closure of venues is having a severe impact on the finances of pubs, clubs, leisure organisations and restaurants. Live music may not be possible for the foreseeable future.

The cancellation notices for festivals and concerts right through until the end of October will be a major blow to the festival industry. It will also affect the dependent charities, support, service and supply companies whose existence relies on annual outdoor and venue-based income.

While some sort of phased social distancing return for retail outlets may be possible, the hospitality and entertainment industry will be hard-pressed to operate within these constraints.

Local gigs and performances are traditionally an atmosphere driven gathering where friends and supporters enjoy a bevvy, a chat, interaction with the performers in usually confined spaces and small bars.

The virtual pub and on line concert has, therefore, become the norm for the aspiring and semi-pro performers with media groups. “Live” programmed events filling the internet through Facebook, Zoom and YouTube performances. The virtual host invites some artists with an allocated slot time and creates a watch party which streams to the event page. The set up is simple to use and can be done either from a smartphone or using the PC/Tablets internal camera and microphone. With Facebook live being the most popular, several Pages have been established to promote these live streams. The success has been such that virtual events with PayPal and just giving links for charity donations have been held. More are currently planned for the NHS and various organisations whose normal fundraising events and support shops have stopped operating. Some semi-pro acts have also performed on line sets with a PayPal link for a tips donation (virtual busking).

There have also been some very creative performances using split-screen zoom applications. With people spread across the world collaborating on tracks both live and recorded for later upload to the many platforms. The online Lady Gaga concert for the C19 lockdown programme on BBC was a classic use of this new application. It is available for free and works on most PC formats with an internet connection.

If you are an aspiring or regular performer and have the urge to take part in, or just enjoy the live streams, then check out Facebook. Local pages: Drunken Mic Radio, Virtual Acoustic Café. National pages: Virtual Pub and Facebook live lockdown gigs.

Fenland Youth Radio

The local, Whittlesey based, “Fenland Youth Radio” is currently in test transmission phase, Usually on Saturday Mornings, which you can find at www.fenlandyouthradio.com. For local acts, on Peterborough’s only local station, visit PCRFM on a Monday night from 7-9pm or online at www.pcrfm.co.uk, or on 103.2 FM.

Stay Safe and keep Plucking…

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