It’s dark days for the Austin music scene. With every venue closed for the foreseeable future, the effects of coronavirus are a gut punch to everyone from artists, to venue owners, to the fine folks slinging drinks and checking your ID.
But all is not lost. There are still several ways to support the Austin music community despite the crippling closures. Here are five ways you can make a difference.
1/ Snag That Merch
A major revenue stream for local artists is their merch tables. Luckily, you can maintain proper social distancing while grabbing those awesome shirts, buttons, and stickers.
When you buy a piece of merch, you’re most likely supporting a local artist who helped design the piece. So you’re supporting two local industries with one purchase.
2/ Quit Streaming and Start Buying
Streaming services like Spotify and Pandora are great ways to not only listen to your favorite artists, but discover new ones. However, you may be surprised to learn artists are paid very little for streams and downloads. It’s hard to make a living when you’re getting paid $0.0045 per play.
Buying music puts dollars directly into the pockets of your favorite bands and musicians. If you’re feeling generous, Bandcamp.com allows you to spend more on an album than the suggested price, allowing you to donate along with buy, which is crucial for Austin artists during this rough time.
And why not join the cool kids and start buying vinyl? Many artists still produce old school records which not only look beautiful, but force you to *gasp* sit down and listen to music. Trust me, youngbloods. It’s a wonderful experience.
3/ Virtual Concerts
With bars, restaurants, and venues officially closed due to the outbreak, heading out to see live music is a near impossibility. To compensate, many artists are offering intimate shows online. Musicians like Mobley, Sydney Wright, Ray Prim, and many others are offering virtual concerts.
If your favorite musician has a virtual tip jar, then drop a few bucks in there. Heck, drop a 20. Be a hero!
4/ Crowdfunding and Fundraising
Real talk time. This shutdown is crippling our local music scene. Many of our artists depend on gigs, streams, and merch for their primary income and those who don’t are still feeling the burn.
To help ease the burden, there are many crowdfunding campaigns to keep local artists afloat during this unprecedented time. Here are a handful to check out:
- Banding Together – A GoFundMe account for keeping the Red River District alive.
- Stand With Austin – Austin Community Foundation is accepting donations for individuals and small business impacted by the virus. Backed by both Mayor Adler and SXSW.
- #SouthbySouthBest – Ad agency-organized GoFundMe designed to provide “surprise tips” to service industry workers affected by the cancellation.
- Southern Smoke Foundation – Created a fund called Relief for Austin to support industry workers affected by the outbreak.
- I Lost My Gig – Based on the reported lost income from those suffering from the closures, this fund supports those directly impacted by the coronavirus disaster.
5/ Sharing on Social
While it may not put dollars directly into pockets, giving your favorite artist love on social media can go a long way. Building awareness, interacting, and promoting give Austin music fans a long list of bands to check out when the doors spring open.
And believe me, once the ban is lifted, Austin’s music scene will be ready to explode!
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
Who do you plan on supporting during the coronavirus crisis?