Local Wire

How to Support Local Music While the Scene Is on Hold

You can purchase merch from The Rebel Lounge while it's closed.
You can purchase merch from The Rebel Lounge while it's closed. The Rebel Lounge
Right now, there is a big fat question mark around our independent local scene.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused tours big and small to postpone, and nearly every music venue is closed for the next several weeks, which makes things particularly difficult for Valley musicians. They rely on live shows and other gigs from spring festivals to keep their dream going.

The effects of this shutdown will last much longer than when things return to normal. Here are some ideas on how you can help our local community while you are inside keeping a distance.

Mike Zimmerlich of 80/20 Records says there are a lot of things fans can do while shows are canceled:  “Buy online merchandise…plan on attending more events [later] to support our local venues who've done so much for our community.”

click to enlarge Mike Zimmerlich, Founder, 80/20 Records. - FRANK C. PHOTOGRAPHY
Mike Zimmerlich, Founder, 80/20 Records.
Frank C. Photography
“Venmo and Bravo are great ways to donate for artists who want to run a livestream performance,” suggests Cherry Red of The Frequency Principle. You can also visit local musicians on social media and see if they’re livestreaming for donations.

Speaking of social media, pop artist Gabe Kubanda suggests creating playlists featuring local music on Spotify and Apple Music and sharing them on your Twitter and Facebook accounts.

If you’re looking for some other simple or creative ways to help, here are a few more suggestions:

  • Bands will still be actively making music, so like and share their albums so others can hear.
  • Venues have merchandise too, so help them out of you can swing it.
  • If a venue is also a restaurant, buy a gift card to use when you go to a show at a later date.
  • If an artist or band has a PayPal, Venmo, or Bravo account, donate the cost of a ticket you were planning on attending in the next month.
  • If you want to think outside the box for a gift, pay them to record an audio or video jingle for an upcoming birthday, anniversary, or another special occasion.
  • When things open up again, bring someone new to a local show. Not only is it supportive financially, but you’ll be introducing their music to new ears.

Share your ideas in the comments. Hopefully, we'll come out of this stronger and more creative than ever.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Dani Cutler is the morning show host on independent radio station KWSS 93.9 FM, which supports local independent artists as part of its regular alternative music rotation. She has been volunteering for the station since 2007. You'll often find her out at a show or walking around with her headphones on because she forgot she was wearing them.