Not to sound like a broken record, but the music industry is broken.
It’s almost been a year since the coronavirus pandemic shut down venues in Colorado Springs and shuttered so many ways of life. Most places remain closed. If they’re open, they’re struggling.
Let’s not forget there are still options for lending a hand. Here are five ideas:
Order from Sunshine Booze
Sunshine Studios Live is branching out. The venue announced in mid-January the launch of Sunshine Booze, a to-go alcohol service that includes pick-up and delivery. Options range from a six pack of Budweiser to shots to cocktails, like one called “mermaid water.” Most of the proceeds go toward the venue’s out-of-work bartenders and some proceeds go toward the venue. Visit Sunshine Booze’s Facebook page to find an order form.
Watch livestreams (and tip)
I thought I might be tired of watching virtual concerts. But I still need my live music fix. Plus, it’s cool to watch live music while I cook dinner or sit in my pajamas. Locally, 291 Distillery hosts weekly virtual live- streams on Facebook featuring artists such as Grant Sabin, Desirae Garcia, Ryan Flores, Snake and the Rabbit and Dylan Teifer. To say thanks for the tunes, you can also tip the musician and a bartender.
Buy merch and tickets
If you like a music venue, show off your pride by buying a T-shirt or another piece of merchandise. Lulu’s Downstairs, for example, recently launched a new shirt as a way for fans to support the venue. You can buy tickets for shows on the calendar. And, if a show gets rescheduled, it helps the venue if you’re able to hold onto the ticket rather than get a refund.
Donate to music foundations
Along with donating to individual musicians or bands, this would be a good time to donate to Manitou Music Foundation and others like it. Described as a “musician guided, community based foundation,” the nonprofit supports the Manitou Springs music scene by promoting and developing musicians. Within the last year, the foundation started a COVID-19 grant for musicians impacted by the pandemic. For more info, visit manitoumusicfoundation.org. There’s also the Colorado Artist Relief Fund, which offers funding for artists around the state.
Visit in person
Some music venues are open with or without live music. You can support them by showing up. Here’s one idea: The Black Sheep has reopened to host movie nights and deejay takeovers instead of concerts. Plus, the venue is starting to make show announcements for this year. You can also visit Legends Rocks Bar and The Gold Room, both of which are hosting limited-capacity shows.