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Indoor Valley music venues struggle during pandemic, but event organizers get creative | Coronavirus in Arizona

Indoor Valley music venues struggle during pandemic, but event organizers get creative | Coronavirus in Arizona

PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — October was supposed to be one of the busiest months for local music venues, but the music has stopped for most venues here in the Valley. Some are struggling to keep their doors open as others are getting creative with bringing concerts to the Phoenix area. 

Like most music venues, The Rebel Lounge is quiet and closed. There’s been no live music since March. “In the light of COVID, I don’t know how to do a concert safely, you know. Until there’s a vaccine, I don’t know how you can do the concert,” said Rebel Lounge owner and vice president of National Independent Venue Association, Stephen Chilton. Chilton said last year, he had 600 concerts. This year, he had only 75. “I don’t think there’s an industry harder hit, we are at zero percent revenue for six months,” said Chilton. 

Meanwhile, some event planners are getting into the music scene. “We are a reaction to COVID,” said Bob Bentley with Thompson Event Center and Digital Drive-In. They turned their drive-in movie lot into a drive-in concert.



Beach Boys among 'car concert' series offered by Arizona State Fair

Think of it as a live concert meets a drive-in movie.

Bentley hopes to do a concert on Halloween after their summertime shows were marred by the heat. “I think for us, we want to stay CDC-compliant. We want everyone to be healthy, so lets social distance, lets bring your cars and lets go old school,” said Bentley. 

Meanwhile, indoor venues like The Rebel Lounge don’t have the capabilities for drive-in concerts. “We produce mass gatherings and that’s the least safe thing right now,” said Chilton. Now, NIVA has a Save Our Stages campaign, urging lawmakers to give financial assistance to venues in the next coronavirus relief package. “There’s no way all of these venues are going

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University of Arizona choirs get creative to make music during COVID-19 pandemic | Caliente

University of Arizona choirs get creative to make music during COVID-19 pandemic | Caliente

Field, 21, has been in the Symphonic Choir going on four years. She said that singing with a mask is difficult because it’s harder to breathe, to project and to open your jaw wide enough to make the correct vowel sounds. But the singer’s lungs seem to be adapting, even though it feels as if they are singing at a higher altitude, she said.

“Honestly, I feel like the choirs that come out of this COVID-era are going to be next level, because they’ll have lung stamina for days,” Field said.

Alyssa Cossey, the community choir director, created the University Community Chorus Virtual Webinar Series that meets at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month throughout the fall semester. The sessions are free and open to the public and include live, interactive events, singalongs and choral lectures both on Zoom and the UCC Facebook page.

Cossey wanted to start the webinars as a way to bring into conversation certain themes about inclusion and diversity in the choral field that aren’t usually accessible during a normal, time-crunched semester.

“In addition to the global pandemic, we are also dealing with this racial inequity that as a country we’re really trying to reckon with right now,” she said. “UCC’s slogan is: ‘Putting the community back in chorus,’ so this gives us a chance to examine music that we don’t normally do.”

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Nashville Artists Find Creative Ways To Support Music City

Nashville Artists Find Creative Ways To Support Music City

“Ever since I was a little girl, Nashville was somewhere I wanted to be,” enthuses Kalie Shorr, the singer-songwriter who released her new album Open Book in September, “I heard ‘Long Time Gone’ by the Chicks and knew I had to go to Nashville, just like the person in the song. From the offices on Music Row to the bars in East Nashville, music is everywhere in Nashville.”

Shorr’s love of the city inspired her to participate in Music City Bandwidth, a local initiative that offers worldwide music fans the chance to enjoy free virtual concerts directly from some of the most iconic, independent spots in Nashville. It began in September and will continue through the month of October. The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp partnered with Nashville’s Music Venue Alliance to create Music City Bandwidth presented by Jack Daniel’s. The idea is simple. They aim to help independent music venues and Nashville-based musicians thrive in the face of the severe setbacks they may be facing during the pandemic. Also, hopefully, enjoying this slice of musical life from Nashville will inspire people to once again visit the city when it is safe to travel again in the future.

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