Musicians turn to online concert series as venues continue to postpone shows

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MONROE, LA. (05/08/2020)– As the state prepares to have a soft reopening, many regulations will still be in place for large gatherings. In the meantime, performers are concerned about when they will be able to get back to work, as well.

“Working musicians have been out of work for going on 8 weeks,” Josh Madden, a musician, said.

With venues opening back up, Madden thought he’d finally be able to perform in front of a live audience again.

“I actually had a gig booked for tonight and according to this venue, the ATC told them that they can’t have live music,” Madden said. “So they cancelled all of their bookings that they had just rebooked until the end of June, so that’s effectively putting us out of work for another 7 to 8 weeks.”

In the meantime, Madden and a few other musicians created an online concert series to bring back some normalcy to their supporters.

“So we started the Northeast Louisiana Couch Concert Series, now with places slightly opening back up our donations have dropped,” Madden said. “We are in a bit of a situation where we did have a surplus, but that surplus is going to run out really quickly if things continue in the next few weeks the way they are going right now.”

Madden said they are trying to meet venues halfway by using donations from the concert series.

“Since we already have the funds in place to pay performers until at least the next couple of weeks,” Madden said.

Madden hopes venues will soon be able to allow musicians to perform once again.

“Musicians are still here,” Madden said. “We’re still performing, we are still entertaining, we are still there to get your mind off of everything.”

The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control said they anticipate new guidance in the next week and will address them after May 15.

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