For the second year, the four-day spring festival will broadcast online sets via Facebook to raise money for the Michigan Artist Relief Fund to aid Michigan musicians. And sponsorships are available.
For the second year in a row, Michigan Music Alliance will host the online “Spread the Music Festival” in March, raising sorely needed funds for Michigan musicians while spotlighting music from about 200 diverse Great Lakes State artists.
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With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to limit live music opportunities, the four-day, live-streamed festival taking place March 25-28 aims to raise $50,000 for the Michigan Artist Relief Fund which already has distributed grants to nearly 100 musicians since being formed last spring.
The music alliance currently is seeking applications from Michigan performers interested in performing during the March festival, with high-profile headliners expected to be announced in mid-February. Michigan artists can apply by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org; those selected will perform their sets from home.
The organization also is seeking underwriters and sponsors for the four-day festival. Get more information about supporting the festival online here.
With musicians across the state still “hurting badly,” Elle Lively, the MMA’s executive director, said the organization is committed to embracing and supporting these artists in advance of the summer festival season which remains uncertain.
“Last year, we moved mountains to provide funding for artists in need and this year, we have every intention of doubling that impact with help from fans everywhere,” she said in a prepared statement.
“We might never know the true effect that this effort makes in the lives of artists who have had the courage to reach out for help, but we’ll definitely hear the music.”
The 30-minute performance sets will be live-streamed via Facebook Live, using Facebook’s fundraising platform to collect donations from viewers. Following the festival, the Michigan Music Alliance will open applications to musicians for grant funding on May 1, with money distributed based on need.
“The festival last year happened right after everything went virtual and it was awesome to see so many artists from our music community jump in and help raise funds to support the music,” said Sav Buist of Traverse City’s The Accidentals, who raised $2,000 in just 50 minutes during last year’s online festival.
The band has expressed interest in playing Spread the Music again in 2021. “We will do whatever we can to support Michigan Music Alliance and the work they are doing,” said band member Katie Larson. “We’re always down for a Michigan festival.”
The same goes for northern Michigan’s The Marsupials, who said they’ve since invested in better equipment to improve their live-stream concerts. “It was cool,” said band member Tai Jaxx Drury. “Would definitely do it again.”
Get more information at michiganmusicalliance.org/spread-the-music.
Last year’s virtual festival attracted more than 50,000 viewers across the globe, with sets rolled out online by Michigan artists such as The Accidentals, Hannah Rose Graves, The Marsupials, Chris DuPont, Carrie McFerrin, Mark Lavengood, Political Lizard and many more.
Funds raised by the festival are distributed to musicians to help them cover the cost of rent, mortgages, food, vehicle repairs and other needs. Get more information online at michiganmusicalliance.org. The MMA also has new merchandise for sale online here, with proceeds going to support the cause.
(NOTE: Local Spins publisher John Sinkevics is a member of the Michigan Music Alliance board of directors.)
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