By now we already know that local artists, musicians, venue workers and nearly the entire music industry are under a lot of strain as Denver and Colorado adjust to a new normal to control the spread of COVID-19.
As of March 19, all mass gatherings are confined to 10 people maximum. On top of that, gatherings of over 50 people will have to wait until around May 11 to resume. The Center for Disease Control has recommended the entire country practice self-isolation or self-quarantine.
With all of this in place, all concerts moving forward are simply postponed or canceled. If there is a show you are concerned about, we recommend you check the venue website for updates.
We reached out to some of our Local 303 bands and artists to see how they are feeling and faring during this uncertain time.
How is COVID-19 affecting you as a musician?
Neoma's first American tour has been cut short. "After the cancellation of SXSW and Treefort, [we] were scrambling to secure some more unofficial showcase spots. After the COVID situation worsened, we had to pull out of even these unofficial showcases ... Money comes and goes. However, the lack of exposure to music industry movers and shakers is irreplaceable," she said. "Careers are jumpstarted at SXSW and it's really sad that we no longer have this opportunity."
Neoma just released a new music video for the song “Himno.”Watch it here.
Slow Caves said closures have had a really effect on the band, financially and emotionally. "We had to cancel a full West Coast tour, our support slot opening for The Districts, and a headlining show at Lost Lake in April. It's been quite a bummer but we know it's definitely the right call. Live performances are everything to our band. This is how we make money, make new fans, and emotionally, they keep us eager to keep creating music. Performing in front of an audience is something that we love doing and need to do as artists. On top of that, tours take a ton of preparation. We had been planning this tour since the fall, and on top of that have other people (booking agents, etc.) that also depend on the money that comes in from us playing live."
Slow Caves has merch and music for sale at their website.
Have you had to cancel any concerts?
“I had to cancel my first-ever headlining tour. I’m pretty sad about that.”
Old Man Saxon’s 2019 album, "The Peacock Honey," is available on all streaming platforms.
“After being a (Local) 303 select band for January a lot of momentum was breathed into the band. We were suddenly getting great shows and were reaching a lot of small goals we had set. We were in the mix for the local summer festivals, we were on the radar for the Bluebird, and people were actually showing up because they like our music. What happens to that momentum when this all over? I think it will depend on what we produce during this time of isolation."
DEBR4H’s 2019 album, "Taipei Rock City," is available on all streaming platforms.
Are you a full-time musician and if so, are you losing income?
“We are not full-time musicians, so the income we’re losing is from shows and in-person merch sales. We use this money to directly support the band, and losing this income does hurt us as things stall for the next couple of weeks.”
Glass Cases’ new album, "In Between," is out this Saturday, March 21.
“Yes, we are full-time musicians and are definitely losing some income.”
The Reminders’ new album, "Unstoppable," is available now on all streaming platforms.
If you have played any shows in Colorado or out on tour at this time, what is it like?
“Played the very last show in town on Friday at Hi-Dive. Crowd was a fourth of normal turnout - but what a great, supportive crowd it was. Can’t stop rock n roll, baby.”
Colfax Speed Queen’s 2019 album, "Dirty Mirror," is available now on all streaming platforms.
“Our most recent show was on March 6 at Broadway Roxy. At the show, someone told me there was a confirmed coronavirus case in Colorado. People kept telling each other to wash hands, but things didn't start escalating until the following week.”
Claire Heywood is releasing a new single, "Python," on April 17, streaming on all platforms.
What are you doing to stay healthy?
“I have an autoimmune (issue) that has compromised my respiratory health so I’m definitely taking all the necessary precautions to stay healthy. Social distancing, Chinese medicine which includes a lot of herbal tea blends, yoga, meditation and eating healthy. I believe mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health should all be in balance.”
Inaiah Lujan’s What Do You Want EP will have a digital release party this Saturday, March 21, via YouTube.
“We are currently keeping ourselves at home and staying focused by sending each other parts. Ala postal service writing process!”
Ramakhandra is releasing their 2nd single of 2020 on April 3, called Andromeda Soup Dumpling.
Are you able to be creative at this time?
“The new Whiskey Autumn album has been our main creative focus throughout 2020 so far and will continue to be during the quarantine. All the time spent at home has provided a lot more time to write new songs and ideas. Hopefully, we'll come through the other end of this pandemic with a slew of new material to share with everyone.”
Whiskey Autumn’s 2019 release, "Modern Doubt," is available on all streaming platforms.
“I always write and play and sing. It feels strange to do it during this ominous time but it’s also so needed! I’m considering home recording an EP.”
Nina de Freitas’ new single, "Keeps Me Coming Back," is available on all streaming platforms.
This is a small sample of the impact that coronavirus has had on Colorado's music community. Bigger acts that rely on touring like Nathaniel Rateliff, The Lumineers, Tennis, and Esme Patterson have canceled or postponed dates out on the road. Despite all of this, bands are rising up and doing their small parts to bring fans together through music with live-streamed concerts and messages of hope.
As always, we are urging you to support your local music scene in any way you can. We put together a few Spotify playlists to give you a soundtrack for your different moods during this time of social distancing.
We also want you to know that we are #DoingMyPartCO by hosting our shows from our own home studios because we want to help flatten the curve and slow the spread of coronavirus. This also means we have stopped taping Indie 102.3 Sessions until specified by the State of Colorado and public health and safety officials. Our monthly Local 303 Meetup is also canceled until we can all safely gather and celebrate our local music scene.
Sharing music is a great source of comfort and we are here for you each time you turn on your radio. We also want to laugh with you and to stay informed, so find us on Instagram and subscribe to our Inside Track newsletter.
Thank you and take care,
Alisha & Bruce
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