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(Screenshot) Angela Perley and Chris Connor perform in a Facebook livestream on April 19, 2020.

Musicians stream concerts in lieu of performances

 The COVID-19 pandemic has put everyday life on hold. Especially for those whose profession relies on mass gatherings for income, the effects of the pandemic cannot be understated. 

Both small and big musicians have postponed or canceled shows. From Bonnaroo to the Nelsonville Music Festival to Lady Gaga and indie bands, albums, tours and the music industry are under delay. 

Ohio University alumna Angela Perley is one such singer-songwriter whose work has been affected by the pandemic. 

Perley is an independent, Columbus, Ohio-based, rock ‘n’ roll and country-influenced artist. Perley’s been working professionally as a musician for about a decade now. Most of her income comes from live shows, she said.

Perley turned to livestreaming performances on her Facebook page as an alternative to live shows. As music is Perley’s professional career, livestreaming in combination services like Venmo and PayPal as well as her online store are working in place of revenue from live shows. 

Perley is new to livestreaming, as her first show was March 22. It was an acoustic, roughly hour-long set with her partner. 

“(The livestream shows are) acoustic, in our living room,” Perley said. “It feels pretty natural ... I had a really great time doing the last one.”

Perley started performing with her band in Athens, where she realized music was her passion, right after she graduated. 

She tries to return to Athens twice a year, in the spring and fall. She usually plays at The Union Bar & Grill, 18 W. Union St., and ironically was supposed to play there last Friday, April 17. 

For Perley, an interesting perk of livestreaming has been people tuning in worldwide. She’s noticed that livestreaming pulls in people. 

“People from Ireland and the UK (are) watching at the same time. Who wouldn't normally be able to come to the show made it to the show,” Perley said. “(It’s) kinda accessible to everyone everywhere.”

Though livestreams aren’t the same as live shows, Perley still gets a little bit of a rush from performing for her fans, she said. 

Jacob Díaz’s debut shows were canceled due to the pandemic. Díaz, who performs as Madverse, grew up playing music and decided to pursue it at college. Díaz, a senior studying music production and the recording industry, now makes his own independent hip-hop music. 

For Díaz, building a fanbase is hard without touring and meeting people. Díaz was set to play at Casa Nueva Restaurant & Cantina, 6 W. State St., a few weeks ago. 

“That was kinda one of my big plans to make revenue,” he said. 

In the meantime, Díaz is trying to expand his online presence and streaming. He’s optimistic about streaming and trying to set up his own streaming accounts. 

“I am working and trying to figure (it) out through Twitch,” he said. “I think crowdfunding is the way to go.”

Later this spring, Díaz will perform in a livestream series through Athens Live Music and ACRN Media. Díaz will DJ and rap a set featuring music from his new album. He might also speak on working as a musician during the pandemic. For him, it’s simply a wild time to be an artist.

“The entire industry, which most of us have been preparing for, is just not there,” Díaz said. “Artists are going through a lot and trying to reevaluate what they're doing.”

Harley Wince, bassist for Athens group Boy Jorts and a junior studying photojournalism, feels the same. For Wince, the pandemic has put musicians in a “state of purgatory.”

“All events being suspended has put a lot of strain on the industry and uncertainty,” Wince said. “A big thing for people to know is that releasing an album and not touring is a bad move.”

Boy Jorts saw its shows canceled, too. Described as “trash-punk” by leadman Philip Hickey, the band had its debut EP release show canceled. 

“Timing-wise, we just got screwed out of things,” Hickey said. 

Boy Jorts participated in ACRN’s first event of its virtual concert series on April 18. The band wants to be more entertaining to adapt to livestreaming, Hickey said. 

Boy Jorts has been practicing and performing within the rules of social distancing, Wince said. The band has been implementing the “isolation pod” method and sticking to only socializing with fellow bandmates, essential services and maintaining physical distance from each other. 


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