Thriving & Surviving in the Times of the Coronavirus By Audrey Michelle October 17, 2020 Thriving & Surviving in the Times of the Coronavirus. Before the COVID-19 pandemic took a hold on the the music industry & put a screeching halt to live music as we know it, my colleagues & I were full steam ahead, documenting & reporting on the most current happenings of the blues music world & the South Florida music scene. Now, in the past several months we have been forced to think creatively & outside the box to bring music to those who need it most & help the artists we love share their music during these uncertain times. We have seen entire tours cancelled, venues & clubs shut their doors permanently, album recordings scrubbed, album releases postponed indefinitely, careers completely cease & dreams & hopes of a successful music career completely dissolve. That is until we decided that we could not sit back & watch this happen. Since March my colleague with Blues Radio International, Jesse Finkelstein & I have conducted over 190 remote, musical interviews over the internet with musicians from not just South Florida but, all over the world. We have provided a platform for musicians to dust off their instruments, get inspired & bring their music out of the dark. The joy in this is twofold, while we are uplifting the artists we are also still continuing on our original mission which is to bring uplifting music to those who need it the most, & light up the dark corners in places where there are people in war torn countries, in places with oppressive governmental regimes, the lonely, the depressed, the anxious & the stressed. We created the, “Viral Anti Viral World Tour” which has allowed us to light up the lives of everyone we have touched. Several of our beloved South Florida, national & worldwide venues have temporarily shuttered up, hoping that they can weather the storm of uncertainty the pandemic has caused.. Only a handful venues have offered live music in the past few months & attendance has been very low for a variety of reasons, the virus being a major factor. South Florida has been a hot-spot for the Coronavirus & restrictions on numbers of allowed patrons cut to 25% has put a major strain on the businesses that once thrived in providing live music experiences. The world famous venue, The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton which is our live music home is one of the clubs that decided to close up shop until the virus passes, hoping to prevent a permanent closure. My partner, Michael Wolf & I with Datflys Concert Videos have filmed a handful of shows there during the pandemic & I am happy to report that we saw not just respectful patrons who wore their masks & maintained their distance but, also a club that did everything they could to protect the patrons & staff from this monster illness. However, the fear of infection kept many regulars at home & away from the essential music therapy they consumed religiously. One exciting & outside of the box ideas is to bring live music in the form of a “drive-in” concert scenario. I was honored to attend the first one of it’s kind here in Southeastern Florida at Deezerland Park in Miami. Kat Riggins who is a lovely, soulful woman braved this new format & was able to bring a vibrant, uplifting music experience to her fans. This event was very special, allowing people who would be apprehensive to venture into an indoor venue an opportunity to enjoy a live music experience in the safety of their vehicles & spread out enough to take in the show socially distanced from other concert goers. The whole experience was fantastic & I hope to enjoy another as soon as possible. In these harrowing times there is a extremely urgent need for monetary support & we have also extended our usual not for profit efforts to assist in fundraisers for The Pinetop Perkins Foundation, Intrepid Artists International, The Blues Foundation & MusiCares all of which bring financial support to music industry professionals & musicians. It is my observation that during hard times birds of a feather will flock together, music creators & supporters have demonstrated over & over how we are all in this together & when one of us falls, the others swoop in & pick them back up. Live music will survive & thrive though this global tragedy & we will come out the other side with our heads held high looking forward to an exiting new future. Share It!