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Cancelled concerts? Try a 'quaran-stream'

Musicians are turning to streaming online to stay afloat amid concert cancellations.

MINNEAPOLIS —
Musicians struggling to create income during the coronavirus pandemic are finding creative ways to keep the gigs coming, including live shows some are calling ‘quaran-streams.’

Twin Cities musician Jillian Rae had a pretty busy couple months scheduled.

She had gigs booked in Minnesota, Michigan and around the region totally about $2,500 in income for the month.

But they’ve all been canceled.

The void so many find themselves in right now has created an opportunity for musicians like Rae.

“I did my first Instagram live last night,” said Rae. “I moved my dining room there and moved the table up and created a stage in front of my plants … put my phone on a tripod, hit live and played a collection of my own songs.”

She said the stream went well, netting her $100 in donations. It also gave her a needed moment of connection in our new regiment of solitude.  

“Just having that sort of interaction completely filled me in ways that I didn't know I needed, and now I know that that can do the trick,” said Rae.

She is not alone. Live music is getting very accessible as musicians everywhere are starting to ‘quaran-stream.’

“Today, it's a wonderful way to be allowed to get closer to the artist you love,” said Jade, a DJ at 89.3 The Current. “This is the 2020 version of bootlegged music. This is us sharing but in real time.”

From local artist like Rae or Gaelynn Lea to big-timers like John Legend, Chris Martin and Keith Urban, they might be on to something for both fans and artists.

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“I think that this might stick around even after this. The intimacy, the immediacy to be able to interact with fans, especially if they see dividends being actually paid to them. I think this could actually be the start of really interesting way for artists to see the fruits of their labor paying off for themselves,” said Jade.

Rae says she will be playing with different platforms other than Instagram, but she's dedicating Thursday nights for livestream concerts.

For a list of virtual concerts in the works, check out 89.3 The Current.