One of the most compelling aspects of the bluegrass music scene is the true sense of community that exists throughout. You find it between artists and fans, promoters and artists, radio hosts and listeners, and among all those groups as well. Probably no one is becoming wealthy, but all depend in some way on the fellowship and the income derived from playing and consuming the music.
And here is another wonderful example. Mark Gaynier, who runs the Milan Bluegrass Festival each year in Milan, Michigan, has watched as bluegrass performers have been devastated this year by a nearly complete inability to work. Some artists have or have found other sources of income during the shutdown, but with so many other folks also losing their jobs, gainful employment has been in short supply in many parts of the world.
So Mark has discovered a way to provide opportunities for his bluegrass friends to hold shows, while offering those of us missing live music a chance to hear, and get to know, some of our favorite artists. He will be presenting a series of pay-per-view concerts online, where an unlimited number of people can attend virtually, with interview segments included where the artists can fill us in on how they have been faring during 2020.
And with a low ticket fee of $10, Gaynier says he thinks this can work for everyone.
“For over 20 years I have had the privilege of calling hundreds of bluegrass musicians my friends. The bluegrass community is one big family and I can’t begin to tell you how lucky I feel to be a part of this wonderful group. I look forward to our series of events taking off so that we can continue to support artists that are currently struggling due to the restrictions placed on them by the pandemic.”
To get things started, shows are booked with Dave Adkins on October 10, and Steve Thomas & Time Machine October 17. Both shows will run from 7:30-9:00 p.m., and can be viewed on your computer, smart TV, smart phone or tablet. Advance tickets are available now for either or both concerts, and folks in the central and southeastern US can get a free pass by taking a test drive at any of the six locations of the Low Payment Kings auto dealerships in Ohio, Michigan, or Florida.
Bluegrass radio host Jeff Tuttle will interview the performers each week.
If these first two pay-per-view concerts are popular, Mark is open to continue to host them through the winter. Where else can you get a professionally-run bluegrass show for only $10?
More details are available online.