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Perspective: A Stimulus Package For Live Music

Edwin Andrade

2020 was a year of loss. But as we look back on the year that was, we can also use this moment as an opportunity to identify what is valuable and what we will need to do to ensure its future. We obviously do not have the time to provide a full inventory, so let me focus on one thing that might escape attention—music.

When the world went into COVID lockdown in March of 2020, live music was over. The great opera companies of the world canceled entire seasons. Symphonies, orchestras, and ensembles furloughed musicians and staff. And the small, independent clubs and corner bars for jazz, blues, EDM, rock and every other musical form imaginable, shuttered their doors and windows.

With COVID vaccines now available, it looks like life might have a chance to return to some semblance of normal. But it would be impetuous to think that this is going to be a simple reset. Some of what has been lost — especially in music — is in danger of not ever returning.

Live music is on life support. And if we value its contribution to what is called “normal life,” we will need to do more than wait. Music needs its own stimulus package and the power to provide that much needed shot-in-the-arm is entirely with us…its loyal fans, advocates, and supporters. So buy a song or two, purchase tickets for a streaming concert event, and remember to tip your bartender just as soon as you are able.

I’m David Gunkel and that’s my Perspective.

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