Music moves online with help from local brewery

Published: May. 19, 2020 at 4:42 PM EDT
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Summer concerts and festivals are being canceled left and right and that's true for small gigs, too. But one brewery is making sure artists can still play and get paid. Our Ike Bendavid shows you how.

No mass gatherings means no live music.

"Man, getting these gigs canceled, it's quite a bummer," Clint Bierman said.

Bierman and his band Grift were set to play at least once a month in the beer garden at Lawson's Finest Liquids this summer. And that's just one of the dozens of shows canceled for this local band. They're looking at a 75% cut in income.

"Without those gigs, it's going to get weird. It's going to get stressful," Bierman said.

But Lawson's had an idea. The brewer hired Bierman to create a music video and song. The theme-- stay home and drink beer. It's a collaboration they hope catches on for other bands and businesses.

"In the meantime, we were thinking how could we put some of the musicians and artists back to work," said Sean Lawson, the owner of Lawson's Finest Liquids.

Lawson says like many taprooms and bars around the state, normally there would be live music every week at their Waitsfield location. But now, because of coronavirus, the chairs are empty and taps aren't running.

Lawson wanted to make sure the music doesn't stop.

"A lot of people have been doing live events on Facebook and social media, so we wanted to take our own approach to doing that," he said.

Lawson won't say how much they're paying the musicians for the online gigs but it's the same as if they were performing in the taproom.

"It's really just an opportunity to help out the musicians who are lacking paid gigs in person and to provide some music to the world," Lawson said.

And knowing they are getting paid and people are watching is a win for musicians like Bierman.

"If this is the first series of pandemics, live music becomes what? It becomes an online thing. So, it's kind of paving the way for a new generation of entertainment," Bierman said.

The first online concert will be on Wednesday and will repeat every week while the pandemic is ongoing.