Normally on Mondays, Local Spins is all about giving you the lowdown on concerts for the week ahead. COVID-19 has changed all that. But we’re still determined to keep you updated on Michigan’s music scene.
National, state and local efforts to derail the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 have led to the temporary shutdown of all bars, restaurants and concert venues in Michigan.
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West Michigan's music scene
Usually in The Big List every week, Local Spins aims to keep you informed about upcoming live music shows and events. However, everything is now canceled across Michigan for at least the next two weeks, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is even recommending that all gatherings, public or private, be held to 50 people or less.
The closures are expected to be difficult for the musicians we cover, the venues that advertise with us and all local entertainment, food and beverage establishments. At Local Spins, we want to continue focusing on the communities we serve every day. If you have suggestions for how we can be of service, please let us know.
We will continue to provide news updates about the impact of COVID-19 on the West Michigan music community. Rest assured, we will also continue to showcase local and regional artists, spotlight the state’s upcoming music festival season and produce other features, podcasts and videos that focus on music from the Great Lakes State. (View Local Spins’ full list of Michigan music festivals.)
MUSICIANS: Email us information about any live-stream events or other online performances you have planned. We plan to create a central resource for music fans to find online live music options so they can enjoy your artistry from home. Please email email@example.com with “LIVE-STREAM EVENT” in the message field. Include the names of the performers, the URL or Facebook page, the time and date of the live-stream, and any other pertinent information about the concert. If you have a crowd-funding page or online merch sales to promote for that event, send us that link, too.
READERS: Please consider donating to funds being set up to support gig-economy musicians and hourly venue staff members. Earlier today, Local Spins posted a story about the new Michigan Artist Relief Fund with links to donate and to get more information. If you watch a live-stream performance, pay the cover charge via Patreon or whatever crowd-funding option the artist has established. It’s a good time to order merch online, including items from the Local Spins gift shop (which is donating 50 percent of beanie sales to the Michigan Artist Relief Fund). Order food take-out or delivery when it’s available from local restaurants, many that have long supported the music scene. You can maintain social distancing practices during that process and avoid depleting the grocery stores. Let’s support each other.
And of course, I will be on the radio as usual, hosting Local Spins on WYCE (88.1 FM) at 11 a.m. Fridays, debuting new regional music and otherwise focusing attention on Michigan artists. Local Spins will continue to post those podcasts on our site so you can listen to them at any time, along with stories on the featured artists. Of course, community radio station WYCE is an important resource during this crisis and a great way to support musical art that needs a boost.
With patience and goodwill, we can protect ourselves, our families and friends, neighbors and communities from the virus and minimize the economic impact. Support the scene, and please be good to each other. — John Sinkevics, Local Spins editor & publisher