Musicians, venues connect with audiences online

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - With music venues forced to shut their doors, area musicians and businesses are finding creative ways to keep playing.

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“It’s just very strange having all the venues close,” Erin Lunsford said.

Lunsford is creating a new beat in an odd time.

“It’s definitely been a challenge for the logistics side of my regular performance, but otherwise it’s been a cool chance to try new things,” she said.

The Botetourt County native now lives in Richmond. She’s a full time musician without any gigs thanks to COVID-19.

“This definitely is affecting my livelihood,” Lunsford said.

With an album set to come out Friday she was planning to go on tour the next couple of months.

“I put so much work into this one project, and just like that it was canceled,” she said.

Now she is taking her talents to the internet.

“I am playing live-streams to try to bring in some funds weekly and keep other people entertained, and it’s also a way for me to stay connected to people.”

It’s a trend other artists and venues are using to keep the music alive.

"That's our plan, to just kind of make the best of a tough situation," The Spot on Kirk Board of Directors President Bruce Bryan said.

The pandemic hit The Spot on Kirk hard, Bryan said.

“It was sad at first,” he said. “And then it became ‘Oh my goodness, what are we going to do to keep the place going?’”

The Spot turned to advanced ticket sales and its own set of online performances.

“And it’s been well received so far; we had almost 6,000 people watch the two live-streams we’ve already done over the course of the last few weeks and we have three more scheduled coming up,” Bryan said.

Bringing a soundtrack into people’s homes as we all step to a new time.

“When we are all dealing with the ups and downs and different emotions, music is kind of a way through,” Lunsford said.

The Spot on Kirk hosts its live-stream performances on Sunday evenings. Lunsford hosts her performances every Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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