The Town & The City Festival 2020 Update – Whistle While We Wait

In light of this year’s turbulent sequence of events, The Town & The City Festival reasonably canceled their October dates. Understandably to ensure the safety & livelihood of their community, this difficult decison hasn’t gone unnoticed in the Lowell sphere. Local businesses, both sponsors & venues alike, have taken a nose dive we weren’t prepared to endure. Living through this moment of COVID-19, patiencly awaiting a vaccine in the hopes of reconnecting with our loved ones in that way we long for now, we can find moments of relief by turning inward. While tending house pants & watching a livestream of our friend’s band play a set, there is still more work to be done. Consider some of the following to help keep things moving along:

  1. Support #RedAlertRESTART

Following a repost from The Tsongas Center’s IG page, TT&TC festival hit us with some staggering statistics.

Over 77% of the live music industry has lost 100% of their income, resulting in a 96% cut in staffing. In North America alone, that’s over 12 million people.

Do your part to help by supporting #RedAlertRESTART. The RESTART act is currently under deliberation in the Senate, hopefully getting pushed through as a necessary economic relief effort. Support this campaign by posting a red photo of you at your favorite event/venue & by visiting wemakeevents.org to learn more.

  1. Support #SaveOurStages

Are you mad as hell? Are you not going to take it anymore?

Then write your state representatives today to request emergency funding for the live music industry. It’s a lot easier than you think.

Head to saveourstages.com to learn more.

  1. Keep watching your friend’s livestream & tip if you can!

The virtual gig concept has taken off in the past 6 months but it’s easy to get lazy & forget that’s part of their income structure. Donate a few bucks if you can, share their watch party links, & holy shit, BUY THEIR MERCH. Also, check in with them. Ask your friends how they’re doing in all of this. What was once partially stress relieving has now become stressful. Exchange in that mutual weirdness of today’s collective scenario. Have faith in our collective tomorrow.

  1. Did I say buy their merch?

Pick up a CD, sweatshirt, LP, whatever gimcrackery provided for your consumership. They took the time to make these yummy tunes for you so if you can support them through this, now more than ever you’re needed. Check out their Bandcamp links, especially on those lovely Fridays when they waive revenue shares so they receive full profits. It directly helps cover artists living expenses during these unprecedented times. A lot of artists & local labels even put 4.8 million dollars toward fighting for racial equity back in June, donating to organizations on the frontline of what COVID-19 has helped expose in our flawed socio- economic system.

“Since we only make money when artists make a lot more money, our interests remain aligned with those of the community we serve. It’s a straightforward approach, and one we’re happy to say works well. Fans have paid artists and independent labels $581 million using Bandcamp, and $17.0 million in the past 30 days alone. Thank you for being a part of a fair, sustainable music economy!”

  1. Listen to your community.

Offer a platform for folks directly impacted by COVID-19 & use this as momentum for social change in your community. How can we leverage the gravity of this collective trauma & use this toward bettering your community? Talk & create plans with longevity we can all stand behind that enact sustainability, accessibility, & inclusivity. This means having uncomfortable conversations, specifically with people in power in your community, & rallying behind your community organizers.

The Town & The City Festival will be returning on October 22nd & 23rd of 2021, across multiple Lowell venues. Check out their website below for 2019 highlights & sign up for live updates. In the meantime, take care, take care, take care.

-Alyssa Aileen Vautier

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