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Mile High Natural Awakenings

Summer Music Festivals Go Online

Jul 02, 2020 06:26PM ● By Raisa Stukova
Bars are shut down and yoga class is canceled, but the latest COVID-19 casualty is summer itself, as festivals formally declare defeat. While music festivals may be put on hold, it doesn’t mean festival goers can’t have a vibrant summer. To spread happiness and support the community, some Colorado artists are bringing their acts online, offering free or cheap epic lineups and deeply authentic shows.

Instead of dancing in a crowd of hundreds of sweaty strangers, festival goers will likely be meeting with friends on video chat and tuning into online events. It’s certainly different, but it could be the next big change for live music. In fact, the virtual festival season might even be better than a physical festival. Attendees don’t have to drive hours to the venue, cram into packed tents, brave the hot summer sun, or buy expensive tickets. They just tune into these cheap or free events to rock out to some amazing lineups sure to brighten up quarantine.

Arise Festival, a transformational music festival in Loveland that combines yoga, community, art, and live music, has dived head-first into crafting Colorado’s virtual music scene. Like Burning Man and Coachella, Arise’s annual in-person August festival is canceled, but they’ve moved their community online by hosting their own monthly gathering. Not only are there live streams from local musicians, but also yoga teachers, live painters and other artists, and sound healers. All proceeds from the events go directly to the performers.

Explains Arise Producer John March, “People want to support these artists and live music itself but, right now, that’s not really very realistic. So, Arise can only serve its core function now, which is to create the best possible experience for the artists, for the attendees, and for the workers - we’re just doing our best to provide that.” John suggests supporting local artists and musicians by donating to a local musicians’ relief fund.

Arise was the first sponsor of the Rocky Mountain Virtual Music Festival based in Denver which streams every Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. It features 45-minute sets of local artists like Future Joy and Float Like A Buffalo. Viewers can tip musicians or visual artists on their streams through virtual tip jars.

“We’re just doing the best we can and Arise is trying to fulfill its natural function, which is a community resource and an opportunity to show really good music and art,” said March.

As the world struggles to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, events of all kinds, not just music festivals, are being pushed online or canceled all together. The #WeAreDenver podcast and art collective, for instance, streams a collection of videos from creatives in Denver. World famous Comic Con in San Diego is now hosting an online event in the summer for anyone to tune in to. A new phenomenon called “Zoom nightclubs” have sprung up, in which attendees can party with famous DJs and models from the comfort of their own homes, often for a small cover charge. This is a time where the frontiers of connection and communication on online platforms are being explored.

Contact Raisa at [email protected]
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