Keeping Live Music Alive in the Era of a Global Pandemic

Keeping Live Music Alive in the Era of a Global Pandemic

Without a doubt you’ve probably been affected by the Covid-19 global pandemic. Those of us who make our living in the live events industry were gearing up for another eventful spring and summer season full of music festivals, concert tours, weddings, and corporate events. Much of our industry relies on these critical months of warm weather to carry us through the winter period when the event industry slows down and work becomes more scarce. The shelter in place orders came down right as many of us were ramping up our businesses to be able to handle the coming influx of shows that would be the lifeblood of our industry. We all watched in disbelief as our entire industry collapsed overnight. By the end of the first week of March we watched all of our upcoming events cancel well into the end of May. By April, we began seeing our prospects dwindle further as events began cancelling as far as October. As time continues to progress, it’s become clear that the entirety of 2020 will be a complete wash for our industry and even spring of 2021 seems to be up in the air.

The entertainment industry is one of those resilient entities that can pretty much withstand anything thrown at it. Economic downturns, natural disasters, disasters of human nature; people can always find an escape in the form of entertainment. It’s a coping mechanism. One thing the entertainment industry cannot withstand is a global pandemic. Those of us who rely on public events as our lifeblood very quickly learned that lesson as the world came to a screeching halt. 

These days, we’re still left feeling an overwhelming desire for information. How long will the lockdowns be in place? When will it be safe for people to congregate in public again? When will there be a vaccine? It’s been increasingly difficult to get clear answers on many of the questions affecting us. We’ve been provided with parameters in which to operate in, but there’s been no concrete sign of just how long we’ll be required to operate within them. Many of us in our industry have been trying to come up with ways to adapt to this new and uncertain way of life in order to simply survive. 

Enter The Covert Bat. Its mission is clear. Keep live music live, alive, and safe in the era of a global pandemic. Covert Bat is a non-profit entity with the goal of producing live events while adhering to the constraints of social distancing. This concept is achieved by creating event spaces that can be viewed from the safety of the audience’s vehicles. Covert Bat is currently operating as a conceptual experiment. The shows are invite only. Donations are suggested, but not required. The show itself is staffed and operated by a number of industry volunteers who have all agreed to give up their time to come help make this concept a reality. The equipment and staff are provided by a collective of local Seattle companies that have been directly impacted by this pandemic. R90 Lighting is proud to be apart of that collective, offering our support through the use of our state-of-the-art lighting equipment and facilities. Other organizations and people involved in Covert Bat are:

Covert Bat has thus far managed to produce a number of live DJ concert showings with abundant success. It’s been featured on a variety of local news stations and was recently featured on Emerald City EDM. Covert Bat is currently looking to expand on this concept by offering live bands in addition to its DJ events. You can find out about when those upcoming events are going to take place by checking the website. Covert Bat is also looking for new locations to expand upon this show concept. The current venue that it is currently being housed at is ill-equipped for the potential size and interest that events like these have. If you have an open lot or know someone who has an open lot who might be interested in getting involved in these kinds of shows, please email that information to thecovertbat.

We will get through this together. Live music as we once knew it will return. While this is certainly not an ideal situation, it is an opportunity to provide a feeling of normality and familiarity. Until we can all get back to safely partying it up at The Gorge Amphitheater, we’ll have to make due with what options are available to us, and right now that option is The Covert Bat.

Stay safe. Stay Distant. Stay Dancing.

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