In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, independent music promoters have had to find creative ways to remain afloat financially until live events can proceed. While fans were immediately eager to support their favorite musicians or local venues, promoters have had to make their case for why they are also essential to the live music ecosystem and develop new strategies for enticing continued support from fans.
"Some people might not know what a promoter is or not know how to support a promoter, where they understand a venue that they go to or a band they go to see," Graham Williams, owner of Texas promoter Margin Walker, says. "It is a little bit of an uphill battle, but if you are a promoter, in theory, you have reach and you know how to market and get info in front of people’s eyes. That’s what you do for a living every day."
Indie promoters across the country began seeking financial assistance in mid-March through GoFundMe campaigns, concert gift cards, custom T-shirts and merchandise, and various livestreams. For instance, New York based promoter PopGun Presents recreated its Brooklyn venue Elsewhere in video game Minecraft for a virtual concert. On April 11, the virtual festival called Nether Meant raised more than $8,000 for coronavirus relief fund Good360 through donations, merch for Minecraft avatars, and digital VIP areas and meet and greets with the artists.