We’re facing a challenging situation and the world of traditional music is facing specific issues. Our music and dance is by its nature social and gathering in kitchens, church halls and bars is becoming risky. Concerts and tours are being cancelled and those of us who rely on music for a living are facing months on end with no income in sight. Those of us who work for ourselves or run clubs and twmpaths are going to have to cancel or postpone as our venues close for public safety. Some of our festivals have already closed or rearranged. Focus Wales has re-organised for October 8 – 11, other, larger events like Eisteddfod Genedlaethol are taking advice.
Whatever they decide it’s obvious that if we want to support our traditions we’re going to have to think creatively.
Some things we can do are simple – if a gig is cancelled, donate the ticket money to the club to keep it going. Buy CDs and merch from musicians. A live stream pays around £0.01 and often 18 months later. A CD will put between £5 and £10 into the band’s funds. It will also support the record label who’ve invested in making your favourite act’s CD available for you. Some bands, like Trials of Cato and Calan are running crowdfunders to cover their bills from having tours cancelled. Contribute! Your band will have some income and you’ll get a one-on-one lesson with your favourite musician – or in Calan’s case, that amazing jacket! Some bands will have a Patreon account, usually a monthly subscription in exchange for discounted CDs and gig tickets. If you try, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to support the musicians you love.
There are other, experimental ways you can support them. Facebook (other digital platforms are available) does live streaming. You can film a gig and ask the audience to pay to see the show online, you can book Skype lessons (other platforms…..), etc. If the Royal Shakespeare Company can do it in the Odeon (other cinemas are available- although probably closed) so can you.
We’ll be working out how to deliver this summer’s activities safely and develop alternatives and we’ll keep in touch when we’ve something new to pass on. In the meantime, stay safe, wash your hands and let us know if you find some loo roll!