Nearly $10,000 in donations rolled in from the first South Bay Stream-A-Thon, a live streaming concert on March 15, that featured local artists raising funds for musicians suffering financially from the novel coronavirus outbreak.
As clubs and bars shuttered, local bands lost out on gigs.
Musician Kevin Sousa said they received an incredible amount of support from the community. So much so, Volume 2 of the Stream-A-Thon will take place Sunday, March 22, from noon to 8 p.m., and feature Justin Hopkins, Kara Turner, Tommy Pittam, T.J. Brinjak, Debo Drums, Kat Hall and potentially Retrofit.
Hosted by the Hermosa Music Company and Studio 637 on Cypress Avenue in Hermosa Beach, the South Bay Stream-A-Thon (Volume 1) on March 15 ran from 2 to 9 p.m. and included Barley, The Lucky Ones, Zeal Levin, V Torres, Kira Lingman, Aragorn Wiederhold, Chris Hanna, Heath Francis, and the Kevin Sousa Band.
Sousa, who co-founded the Hermosa Beach Music Company with wife Patti, was scheduled with other local musicians to perform at a Children’s Hospital Los Angeles fundraiser last Saturday. But, after the event was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, he and many musicians ended up not getting paid.
Local musician Nate LaPointe also had performed a livestream concert and raised almost $2,000 to raise funds for his bandmates in Cubensis. With the help of Russ Gilbert, who plays with the band Barley, they set up a live streaming stage out of the Hermosa Music Company, something that normally would have taken weeks, took less than 24 hours, with the help of Studio 637.
“Saturday morning, I just called around to people that have opened up for my band in the past… local musicians who I really enjoy working with, with an eye towards this being Volume One,” said Sousa.
Sousa added, “I'm fortunate that I have another job that helps fund a lot of stuff, but I felt it was important to take care of some of the mobile musicians that have lost their gigs.”
South Bay musician and co-founder of the Hermosa Music Company, Aragorn Wiederhold, said Volume 1 of the Stream-A-Thon was vitally important to local musicians being able to care for themselves and their families.
“It was also important as we saw how the community's love of art and music can shine down on the people who dedicate their lives to the service of art and artistry," Wiederhold said. "The emotional impact of what happened was so overwhelming.”
Zeal Levin said the event was to spread joy and good vibes as well as help musicians.
“No one in our field in the music field or the production field is working right now," said Levin. "So it works out that people are in town and able to lend their expertise. It was beautiful to be able to come together and, and the response from the community was really overwhelming. It was so cool to have people so excited and watching from all over.”
Veronica Torres, known as V Torres on stage, said good things can come from bad circumstances.
“It forces us to get creative, supportive and continue to spread positive energy in a dark time,” Torres said. “This event really brought a huge amount of people together while in isolation. I was so thrilled to be a part of the inaugural stream and also to be able to help out some of my band members who have lost their jobs. I am so grateful to our community and fans for their support of live music and to the businesses on Cypress who are making great things happen in our community of Hermosa Beach.”
Justin Hopkins will take part in this Sunday's Stream-A-Thon.
"I think that we all are just adapting," Hopkins said. "It's showing that we do care (and) it's not always about money, too, it's about entertaining people, you know, give them something, because there's a lot of people who are going to struggle through this. But this town's fine. We're known for taking care of each other. So I'm not too worried about that."
During taping the musicians are conscious of social distancing, said Levin.
"We tried to keep our space and make sure things were wiped down and sanitized," Levin said.
Sousa said they hope to find a sponsor to cover the production costs for future tapings.
“There's so much fear and uncertainty right now and music can kind of bring us back to that collective feel good,” Sousa said. “And that's what we're trying to do create some sense of normalcy (during) really abnormal times right now.”