Lack of music-filled summer could have a big impact on the Triangle's economy

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- From concerts at PNC Arena and Walnut Creek Amphitheatre to festivals, the music scene in the Triangle is vibrant, pumping millions of dollars into our local economy.

But live music is now silenced because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are in the business of large gatherings and events," said Dave Rose, President of Deep South Entertainment, which has offices in Raleigh and Nashville. "It, in a matter of days, shut down 100 percent of our income. It was devastating."

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Deep South has managed acts such as Parmalee and Bruce Hornsby. They also book live music for events like the NC State Fair.

Deep South artist Kasey Tyndall was born in Rocky Mount and now lives in Nashville. Her shows were postponed.

"It's been awful, you know, the financial part of it, and not being able to see my fans and be on the road but I'm learning some things about myself and I think it's going to impact my music in a good way after all this is over," Tyndall said.

Tyndall plans on releasing new songs in the coming weeks and performing them in a virtual concert.

The Hall Sisters are based in Garner and have performed at the Grand Ole Opry. Their shows were also postponed.

"You have the social media, thankfully, that you can post videos or you can livestream," Jessica Hall said. "We've been doing some of that. But that interaction between people has been really hard to get used to not having that and not knowing when we'll be able to do that again."

Dreamville Festival was supposed to take place at Dorothea Dix park this month. It's been rescheduled for August 29.

Rose said we should expect things to be different when we can start seeing live shows again, possibly as early as late August or September.

"I don't see, in the immediate future, packed arenas and fields of festivals," Rose said. "I do see festivals happening. I do see them continuing but I see an appropriate level of social distancing."

Deep South produced branded face masks of bands and artists they work with.

"We believe that's probably going to be a fashion statement of this year, in addition to a necessity," Rose said. "So that's something that once we do get back out to playing festivals, I bet you'll see that kind of stuff at the merch table. I bet you'll see hand sanitizers."

He also said the pandemic could change how we consume music.

"We've been taught our whole lives that you have to be in room with lots of people to really enjoy music, but maybe the new wave of music is not that," Rose said. "Maybe the new wave of music is this," he said, referring to online performances. He said this could open up new opportunities for artists to monetize their online presence through streaming concerts.

Tyndall said she has participated in some online concerts and interacts with her fans on social media.

"It's not the same but I'm thankful for anything that keeps me loving up on my fans," Tyndall said.

"I love being able to reach out and touch people's hands and hug them at the merch table after the shows. I'm one of those that feeds off the energy of the people in the crowd. So it's been very difficult."

Hall also misses the in-person interaction with fans.

"As an artist, what you want to do the most is be able to share your music with people and just being able to relate to an audience," Hall said. "And then all of a sudden we can't do that anymore."

The coronavirus is impacting musicians financially.

"It's a bit of a stress because artists depend on most of their income being from performing and concerts," Hall said.

"It's really hurting the musicians who make their livelihood doing this," Rose said. "I would encourage the public to continue to consume music because it's out there. It's online. Find it and support those artists so that, when this somewhat returns to normal, those artists will be there for us."

A collaboration between Artspace, PineCone, Theatre Raleigh, United Arts Council and VAE Raleigh known as the NC Artist Fund has been set up to help artists in the state struggling during the pandemic.

The website said they've sent $60.590 in relief funds to 310 artists across North Carolina. There are also grants of up to $200 for artists in Wake County and parts of the state that don't have a dedicated fund set up.
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