Why Is Memphis Doing this and not Baton Rouge/New Orleans?
Memphis Tourism’s Music Hub Launches “Get Live! Memphis” Online Music Festival with Facebook
Free Virtual Entertainment & Fundraising Event to Support Memphis Musicians During Global Health Crisis
In an effort to support Memphis’ local music community and engage global audiences, Memphis Tourism’s Music Hub has created a virtual music relay festival. The event will kick off with one performance on Thursday, March 26th, 2020 and continue through Saturday evening with performances scheduled at a variety of times over three days. The festival will be held via a Facebook event, co-hosted by Memphis Tourism and I Love Memphis. Several other pop-up virtual performances will happen throughout the week on Instagram Live to virtually promote the event.
“This is the time to give back to the Memphis music community that has given so much to our city’s cultural identity,” says Music Specialist Jayne Ellen White. “Our music has brought such joy to so many and now is the time to speak to the world through our universal language: music.”
The lineup includes headliners such as Mononeon, Ben Nichols of Lucero, and Grammy-nominated band Southern Avenue and eight other bands.
“Memphis Tourism’s Music Hub is partnering with Music Export Memphis to collect donations for a COVID-19 Relief Fund benefiting musicians who have lost gigs as a result of the health crisis.
“Memphians, especially our musicians, have always given back in times of need. This project serves as a way for the global community of music fans to help support the Memphis music community during this challenging time.
“’Our local musicians play an integral part of the Memphis destination’s identity as a live music city,’ says Kevin Kane, President and CEO of Memphis Tourism. ‘Their talents not only keep Memphis’ music scene vibrant but, now more than ever, they are able to share those talents to lift up, not only our local community but also a world of music fans. As people around the world connect with us during this virtual musical festival, these outstanding artists will have an opportunity to not only share their talents with new audiences, but also share messages of hope.’”
I sent this press release to a representative at NewOrleans.com (New Orleans’ Convention and Visitors Bureau) and was told that they were working with restaurants remaining open to drum up business, working to rebook groups and festivals, and that if someone comes up with something they will help promote on social media. I also sent the same press release to the City of New Orleans Cultural Economy office, and have not yet received a response. It appears as though, once again, if the musicians and music ecosystem in this town need help, they have to put it all together themselves. It’s sort of always been that way, but you’d think that since that tourism studies show that New Orleans’ prime draws are food and music, that music would get some consideration in proactive efforts from city officials. Why isn’t this happening?
It’s going to be a long time until we can get back to anything near normalcy. Until then the music community needs help too, and the city should step up with all available resources to keep our music scene alive.