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Social Distancing And Playing Live

Veggie Dave

Sax Worker
Messages
3,157
Locality
Citizen of Nowhere
For the last few weeks I've desperately held on to the idea that we'll all be able to start playing gigs again sooner rather than later, but I knew it was just a pipe dream. Quite honestly, I'll be surprised if we're able to gig (at least in traditional venues) before next year.

This image is from the Berliner Ensemble theatre (Berlin), showing seating that conforms to social distancing rules. My German's bad but I think they're hoping to start having performances again in autumn/winter.

seating.jpg


There's simply no way on earth any production is going to come even close to covering the hire costs of the venue when they can only sell so few tickets, never mind make any sort of profit to pay anyone involved in the actual production itself. Quite honestly, I can't see there being any difference with smaller venues such as clubs and pubs, either. In fact, I'd think it would be even worse as they're not even seated.

I guess the best we can hope for is that there'll still be places to play when (if?) the day comes when we no longer have to worry about social distancing.
 

ellinas

Senior Member
Messages
905
Locality
Athens, Greece
I feel that small / medium venues will have a serious problem keeping up their business.
Rents, obligations and so much less people in the audience will be a catastrophy.

What about RnR, Soul ... loud etc venues.
How can the crowd warm up? It can't work if the show isn't interactive... if its clinical.

I spoke to 5 club managers, friends, owners of venues that i usually play ... and they have second thoughts about keeping their business ... running... The business model just won't work.... What would they do ? Triple the admission? Things were difficult already before the coronavirus.

I went to my sax tech and there was no pile of instruments waiting to be fixed/delivered...... music schools have opened here in Greece ... but drums vocals or brass/woodwinds are allowed ... only online...

Rehearsal studios are allowed to accept a certain amount of people inside their rooms...

Many pro musicians ... friends .... have shared with me that don't really have much desire to play... In the beginning they found it a good "opportunity" to spend some more time in the shed .. but now... cancelled events ...

All those people performing from their house ... are real warriors... but if feels strange to see....

Dave this photo is breaking my heart.

I so much miss playing live and going out to listen to various acts. And if this is the way we are going to see live concerts even temporarily ... this is beyond imagination... It's painful. :(
 

randulo

Playing alto 2 1/2 years
Subscriber
Messages
4,726
Locality
France
It may take years before this particular situation is resolved with a vaccine, an efficient treatment and herd immunity. During this time, nearly everyone will suffer to a degree. Even without financial hardship, life itself will be different, as you describe for musicians and their audience. I believe this may also be an opportunity to rethink the way society and predatory capitalism work. Almost every business has been affected negatively, other than mask and hand sanitiser sales. If we're lucky, we live in a country with socialised medicine and serious research and care. We (the world) haven't reached bottom yet, there is more to come. It's quite possible that younger people will revolt, hopefully not violently, to effect the changes needed to eliminate some of the worst qualities of our current system. Basic income is only one possible attempt at a solution for the massive loss of jobs. Remember, automation, robots, AI were already working on changing the future of work.
As creatives, we may laugh at the many attempts to create music (and all art) by algorithm, but the truth is that the average person could already listen to the fake Mozart and never know a computer composed and played it! I'd love to hear what @Pete Thomas, who's done extensive music production (for cinema?) thinks the next 20 years will look like. In the world of movies, they are already nearly at a point where actors can be created on screen without a human behind the image. And what if someone recorded the data for the past 80 years of jazz? Don't you think convincing renditions of Fly Me to the Moon could be created in any time signature, key, tempo? I do. With enough CPU, you could create a video of Frank Sinatra performing it with Nelson Riddle.

This said, it's up to us to try to reinvent things. Yes, some play from home, others have made videos of groups large and small by file exchange. It's crazy times, but somehow we can move on. As creatives, we surely will!

What's next?
 
Messages
71
Locality
Switzerland
Switzerland will allow events with up to 300 people starting June 6th. Not clear at the moment what seating restrictions will be imposed.

 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,020
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
It feels like it's the end of an era. I have a feeling that untill a vaccine is found things will be awkward.

Older players are feeling vulnerable and the general public are nervous of crowds.

So sad. I'm going to have to reinvent myself and find a way through.

The one man band option for small outdoor gatherings may be all that will work. :(
 

Pete Effamy

Senior Member
Messages
2,357
Locality
Hampshire
Older players are feeling vulnerable and the general public are nervous of crowds.
This is what I've got from older gigging friends too:
  • Who's on the gig?
  • Have they had it?
  • Where do they live?
  • Who with?
  • What does their other half do?
  • Where have they been in the last two weeks?
  • What's the venue like?
  • Who's been there recently?
etc etc etc
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,861
Locality
McLean, Virginia
I'd love to hear what @Pete Thomas, who's done extensive music production (for cinema?) thinks the next 20 years will look like. In the world of movies, they are already nearly at a point where actors can be created on screen without a human behind the image...Don't you think convincing renditions of Fly Me to the Moon could be created in any time signature, key, tempo? I do. With enough CPU, you could create a video of Frank Sinatra performing it with Nelson Riddle.
Or Kenny G with Louis Armstrong - that didn't go down too well.

I think we should not assume anything is impossible. In audio huge advances have been made in manipulation, like melodyn technogy that can change individual notes, e.g. take a Beatles recording and change the guitar chords.

But I think it is very different to film, where people love the fantasy and CGI has got to the point in many cases where you only know it's CGI because either it's impossible or you know they couldn't have afforded all those extras.

Listeners to audio are maybe a bit more conservative. It's going to now be soooo difficult to find a studio that could record a full socially distanced orchestra, maybe the classical listeners will finally accept that if they want to hear something new, they may have to accept (shock horror) orchestral or choral overdubbing.
 

randulo

Playing alto 2 1/2 years
Subscriber
Messages
4,726
Locality
France
Thanks, Pete. In the link I posted, the fellow seems to imply they're already doing film music, and I see no reason why not, since much if not most is already electronically produced. But composed? Not yet!
 
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jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,241
Locality
West Midlands
It feels like it's the end of an era. I have a feeling that untill a vaccine is found things will be awkward.

Older players are feeling vulnerable and the general public are nervous of crowds.

So sad. I'm going to have to reinvent myself and find a way through.

The one man band option for small outdoor gatherings may be all that will work. :(
I think you are right, it does feel like the end of an era and how many venues will still be left is just guess work and once they are gone its doubtful they will ever be back.
There has been a slow reduction of venues that do live music over the last 10 years or so but this will be the final nail in the coffin for some that we're only just making ends meet before lockdown.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,950
Locality
Minster On Sea
I had my first gig since March last weekend. A 60th birthday party in a pub garden. It was most enjoyable. Considering the band hadn't played since March we remembered most of what we usually do. As far as I know I have one booked in 2021 and that's it. I can't see the situation changing soon.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,595
Locality
brighton by the sea
I had my first gig since March last weekend. A 60th birthday party in a pub garden. It was most enjoyable. Considering the band hadn't played since March we remembered most of what we usually do. As far as I know I have one booked in 2021 and that's it. I can't see the situation changing soon.
I've hooked up with a Skatelites (etc) covers band and we've had a residency outside a cafe on the beach. Its felt great to be out gigging... and a set of mildly chaotic, horn driven 1960s ska tunes does seem appropriate for a warm summer evening
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,020
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
Had a garden party last week. Rusty doesn't cover it. Practice is one thing but playing is another. Nothing on the horizon. Nowhere to sit in. Open mic's are a thing of memory. Thank heavens for busking. The only gig in town. Uh oh. They've locked us down again.:(
 
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Veggie Dave

Veggie Dave

Sax Worker
Messages
3,157
Locality
Citizen of Nowhere
Whereas my first gig after the lockdown has just been cancelled, even though it was outside in a large area, because the organisers decided they weren't prepared to take the risk after considering the spikes appearing everywhere.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,241
Locality
West Midlands
I've not got anything at the moment but the one place we play regularly has started to do small gigs outside but we play with a vocalist and they haven't booked any bands with vocalists yet so looks like waiting a bit longer.
 

Clivey

Senior Member
Messages
990
Locality
Edinburgh/Hot Rock off African Coast
Had a garden party last week. Rusty doesn't cover it. Practice is one thing but playing is another. Nothing on the horizon. Nowhere to sit in. Open mic's are a thing of memory. Thank heavens for busking. The only gig in town. Uh oh. They've locked us down again.:(
Not sure I want to be collecting and counting coins and I doubt taking a card reader would be worth it. Looks like Summer 2020 will have to be chalked down to experience and folklore.
We have a long autumn, winter to make it through. Yikes "where's that tree"?
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,020
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
Coins? How very dare you. I'm a banknote kind of guy. ;)

But seriously...The money gets a good ultra violet bath while it sits in the case. I don't play in the rain. Not on purpose anyway. Nickel, copper etc. is quite inhospitable to viri I believe.
To be honest if I can't play, life isn't worth living and the reaction from my sparse public is golden. :thanks2:
 

Dave E

Member
Messages
148
Locality
Leicester
Good for you Colin. Been out busking 4 times this year since the virus started, just in areas not subject to lockdown. Footfall is light; the areas I'm playing in are large and people aren't congregating otherwise I'd stop playing. Its enjoyable and the best type of practice for me..
 

Pete Effamy

Senior Member
Messages
2,357
Locality
Hampshire
I was offered two gigs in Denmark (about 6 weeks ago) for Sept and Oct. Most gigs on that tour were cancelled but Denmark held the artist to the contract as their infection rate has been low. Involves getting on a plane though. My Asthma said no..
 
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