With concerts effectively banned, fundraisers have been launched and more performers are starting to look to online streaming as a potential means to help temporarily fill the gap

At first, Lisa Cave noticed a handful of bands canceling shows. Then, in a matter of days, the longtime local booking agent realized the staggered cancellations had become “an avalanche.”

“And I thought the most important way we can help is with money,” said Cave, who launched a Columbus Artist Relief Fund via GoFundMe, which has raised just a shade over $3,500 to date. Musicians can apply for strings-free grants, which Cave will dole out in increments of around $150, though she said that number might fluctuate based on the number of donations. (At the moment, Cave has received more requests for money than donations.) “There’s not a single musician I know who hasn’t lost every gig they had for the next month. … And we’re talking about independent artists who really depend on [concerts], not just to get their art out, but as a source of income.”

This includes Liz Fisher of the Cordial Sins, who lost full band gigs and duo shows with partner and Cordial Sins bandmate Corey Dickerson, along with income from group classes, school musicals and church work. (The only music-related income Fisher has maintained is from individual music instruction, which is currently being conducted via online stream, a platform to which she’s managed to convert 18 of her 24 students.) “I suspect this will last for a few months, which will be really hard given how many gigs I had recently committed to,” said Fisher, who is among the 35 musicians who have thus far applied for one of Cave’s grants. In addition, Fisher and Dickerson have taken on additional work at her parents’ farm during this unexpected downturn. “That’s the best we can do right now aside from encouraging people to support us [and] our music.”

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Across the spectrum, local artists have increasingly turned to live webstreams to replace the concert experience. Van Dale is performing its three full-length albums one per week each Saturday, with the second installment taking place this weekend, and last week Linda Trip moved a planned No Space Gallery concert online amid the mass gathering ban. Beginning on Wednesday, March 18, Alive will present a roundup of upcoming local streaming performances; email joliphint@columbusalive.com and adowning@columbusalive.com to be included in this or future installments. In addition, Alive has also compiled a few ways that you can help support your favorite local musicians through this time, which you can read by clicking here.

“A few people have reached out about doing digital concerts, so I’ve been getting some ideas about where I can do that, how I can do that, and how I can make mine stand out,” said rapper (and 2020 Band to Watch honoree) Joey Aich, who was forced to cancel a handful of promotional interviews, but doesn’t have any concerts scheduled until April, at which point he hopes things have started to return to at least a degree of normalcy. “I’m just using this time to figure out ways to be creative, since people are going to be on their phones and on their computers more. … I’ve grown up with the internet. Now I just need to tap back into that and find out ways to make the best out of this situation.”