HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Local musicians are struggling after shows and performances have been canceled after concern over the coronavirus has put a damper on the public hearing live music.
“The coronavirus is taking a toll on our whole entertainment industry,” said local performer BJ Griffin.
“For us, it’s been especially sad having to see our calendars go pretty clear. We had a lot of gigs on the books. It’s definitely been challenging to figure out how we can still engage and get our music out to the world,” said Nate Levine from the band Paper Aliens.
Local musician Marty Moore connected with his fans by providing a live performance on Instagram Sunday night.
The band Roebuck also held their first live online performance Sunday night.
Levine and his bandmate Jarvis Griffin practiced social distancing on his couch at home and did a live Facebook performance Sunday night.
“It’s a little weird to get used to not getting that immediate crowd response, but it’s definitely cool and it’s really awesome to see all the comments and people engaging,” said Levine.
Griffin recently performed at La Bella Italian in Virginia Beach and posted the performance online.
He said he is now teaching students online as a part-time job.
“There’s a lot of students out there that need something to do. With my rigorous performance schedule, I haven’t been able to teach in the last few years. It’s been quite refreshing,” said Griffin.
Levine said the silver lining to this situation is being able to provide fans with a behind-the-scenes look at band life.
“This is a unique opportunity to pull back the curtain and show people what the writing process is like. We can play some unreleased material and show people who we really are behind the curtain,” said Levine.
“We got to support each other. There’s no competition anymore," said Griffin, "We’re all in this together.”
“All of us musicians are out of work,” said Moore. “I’m hoping everything gets better sooner rather than later, and we’re just taking it day by day. It’s a tough situation, but we can get through it and we will get through it.”
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The musicians post information about ways you can donate to them.