Artists bring live shows to unconventional venues

By Aaron Reynolds

The Surveyor

Toni Morrison once said “This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There’s no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. This is how civilizations heal.”

What should an artist do when the venues where they traditionally perform are shut down and the shows are postponed “until further notice”?

Renowned mainstream performers as well as local artists have been thinking outside the box in their efforts to find avenues for sharing their work during the coronavirus pandemic. Since marquee music festivals and other events that draw big crowds have been temporarily muzzled, artists are turning to unconventional venues for performances.

Legendary country musician Garth Brooks recently streamed a concert event at over 300 drive-in theaters across the country. While the reception from the concert was mixed, it did introduce a new method for reaching audiences during COVID-19.

LiveList.com is another platform worth seeking if you are feeling the blues because of the lack of live entertainment in your near vicinity this summer. The website streams live performances from around the world and has a partnership with Live Nation.

Therefore, you can stream concerts for free (or little cost) from the comfort of home. There are several noteworthy names with upcoming shows including Michael Franti, G. Love and Friends, Stone Temple Pilots and Darius Rucker. The website also provides channels you may subscribe to discover new artists like “Live Nation From Home” and “Couch Tour.”

While it is impossible to replicate the precise feeling and enjoyment of witnessing a live show in-person, these alternatives are the best options we have for the short term. Broadway recently announced that they will not put on any shows until 2021 at the earliest, and many other venues across the country are taking a similar, conservative approach toward reopening.

Fans of music can also receive updates on new streaming events by accessing the concert calendar through websites like Billboard.com and Grammys.com. JamBase.com is another terrific source for livestreaming events.

If you are more inclined to stick with the local scene there is good news on that front. For example, the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra recently went viral and offers free shows through its website.

The historic Rialto Theater in Loveland canceled all its outside events for the summer yet is currently showing movies to generate income while the theater outwaits the government mandates. You can find more up-to-date information on local productions by contacting the company or venue and inquiring about streaming events.

The arts continue to adjust to a “new normal” and supporting local performances during this chaotic time is necessary to progressing and moving past, like Toni Morrison once reminded us. We all miss live shows, and for now streaming is the next best option for supporting the arts.

For a list of upcoming movies at the historic Rialto Theater in Loveland click here.

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