Instead of touring Australia and New Zealand, then returning to the United States to play Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre in April, Marc Rebillet is at home in New York, livestreaming in a brown flowered bathrobe. “We’re coming right out the gate with the apocalypse!” he tells the 20,000 viewers tuning in live to his two-hour “Quarantine Stream: Day One” broadcast on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Twitch.
Rebillet, the goateed electro-soul singer known for making up songs on the spot, raised $15,000 for charity by selling merchandise and soliciting donations during the livestream. “I’m giving 100% to the GlobalGiving Coronavirus Relief Fund — and now I’m a little bit regretting saying 100%. I wish maybe I had said 50% or something,” he says the day after the stream. “Looking six months in the future, I probably will need a little bit of scratch.”
Like so many artists, Rebillet says he makes “exponentially” more money touring than from other income streams, so the coronavirus shutdown has decimated his future earnings. But he’s adapting, at least in part, by tapping into his robust online following — that first quarantine stream drew over 1.57 million viewers overall, and he launched “Quarantine Stream: Day Two” a few days later. “You can drive yourself crazy thinking about this stuff, or you can get your ass on the internet,” he says. “We’re just seeing the beginning of this, and it’s going to be a ride.” It’s just one of many ways — from the obvious to the outré — that artists like him can (and must) adapt right now.