I’ve been feeling a bit fed up lately, given the devastating impact that the Covid-19 virus crisis has had on the live music scene. So I decided to cheer myself up by doing something positive and putting together a VIRTUAL version of our cancelled Yorkshire Americana & Bluegrass Day, which should have taken place in Marsden on Saturday 30th May. I only decided to do this about a week ahead of time, so it was a bit of a whirlwind getting some online promotion together, and preparing to do a Facebook LIVE stream for the first time ever!
Luckily my lovely musician friends were all on board immediately and we were fortunate to be able to feature almost all the excellent artists originally booked for our mini fest, while still complying with lockdown guidance in both the USA and UK. We had a trio version of amazing bluegrass & Americana band AJ Lee & Blue Summit from California, two out of three Jaywalkers (the superb Cheshire folk and Americana trio), stunningly talented North Carolina-based duo Zoe & Cloyd, and gifted multi-instrumentalist Simon Brady, representing his band Tilter Wheel. Huge thanks to them all for helping us to stage this event at very short notice! It was so lovely to see and hear them all play “live” online, as well as to feel connected to all the friends and fans watching and commenting.
Thanks a million to everyone who tuned in, and to all who have donated so far! You can donate to our Justgiving page here. All donations will be split as follows – 80% to the musicians who performed on the night, and 20% to our festival fund, to replace some of the money we paid out on cancellation fees this year, and on promotional materials before the crisis hit. Thank you to everyone for supporting us (and independent musicians) in a very difficult time for the live music scene. Here’s a pic of me finally getting a drink after 9pm last Saturday, once the final performance was underway. Note the reversed WELCOME sign and mirror writing sign for use on phone selfie setting!
We did have a couple of hiccups with the Justgiving website over the weekend with donation total not updating during the concert itself and then on Sunday the JG website showed we had already hit our target. They have now informed us that a widespread glitsch on their site over the weekend meant that they double-counted many of those donations, and on Monday they corrected that back down to about 65% of target. Which was still a great achievement, but a bit of a letdown after we thought we’d already got there! I have double checked the revised total and I’m satisfied that this is correct. With further donations since Monday, we’re now up to 72% and would love to get closer to our target. Justgiving has a minimum appeal duration of 30 days, so the page will stay up until the end of June if you’d like to chip in. Donate to our Justgiving page here. And please do keep supporting grassroots musicians in every way you can, by buying their music (artists’ websites and the Bandcamp site are the most ethical methods) and by donating to live streamed concerts. Stay safe, everyone!