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Local musicians look to internet to have live-streamed concerts

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MADISON (WKOW) -- For weeks, concerts across the country have been cancelled amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Less than a month ago, Wendy Lynn Staats and her band Sunspot were getting ready to go to SXSW in Austin.

"Since that's kind of our bread and butter, performing is what we do, it's kind of changed everything," Staats said.

That was cancelled as the pandemic kicked into gear.

"We wanted to make sure that the people who wanted to come see our shows can still see us so we've been performing and having discussions on live media, online," she said.

Despite social distancing, the show must go on.

With a laptop, a microphone and a guitar many local musicians are continuing to have their events but just from the comfort of their living rooms.

Staats says that Sunspot has had a lot of experience live streaming their shows before the pandemic hit.

"Back in 2013, we went to six states in one day while live streaming the entire concert in the van, you know the full experience," she said.

Now, others are learning to do just that.

"It's like a resource group where people can learn about other live streams and then learn how to live stream themselves," Wendy Schneider, who owns Coney Island Studios, said.

Schneider put together a Facebook group and a quick scroll through it shows that artists are starting to put on their own virtual concerts.

It can't all be done for free.

"It's using a tip jar creating a Patreon page or creating tickets that's not necessarily live but it might be a live stream event," she said.

It's all a learning process and local musicians are doing that together.

"We're all kind of trying to help each other figure this all out and make it work, do what we can here now," Staats said.

If you'd like to learn more about these virtual concerts you can find the Facebook page here.

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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