TREASURE COAST – If you love live music, you know that there will be no shows to attend in person for a while. But if you need your music fix and want to support local performers and venues, it’s time to learn about “couch tour.”
A “couch tour” is when you watch, or stream, a live concert from the comfort of your home. Created as a way to increase revenue for bands while allowing ticketless fans to see sold-out shows, home streaming is now a lifeline for bands whose careers can die without live performances.
Since you’ve likely got some spare time on your hands, start by setting up your home theater so that your television, sound system, and computer are linked. There are many ways to do this, most requiring an inexpensive, easy-to-use streaming device like Chromecast or a Roku stick.
Some newer “smart” televisions have built-in technology to receive internet signals on their own.
If you don’t know how to set up your system, ask a young person, or search online for tutorials that apply to whatever devices you have.
Once set up, start searching the web for content. You will find many live and prerecorded concerts to watch, some of which are free, and some pay-per-view.
One of the best places to learn about Treasure Coast bands streaming concerts is through the new Facebook group called Cosmic Streams.
Brought to you by the Cosmic Barley people who have been producing live concerts on the Treasure Coast for several years, Cosmic Streams has started broadcasting a variety of live shows from the stage of Terra Fermata in Stuart. Their first show on March 20 featured the Lefty Hathaway Band with Brock Butler from Perpetual Groove. You can see the full two hour concert on the Cosmic Barley and Cosmic Streams Facebook pages.
“Music is one of the most beautiful things in the universe,” Cosmic Streams posted. “Right now we are in a time where it seems like local music will have a hard time staying alive due to the lack of venues and revenue. We have come together to provide a platform to keep live music alive!”
The sound is professionally mixed, so what you hear comes directly from the soundboard with excellent quality. Cosmic Streams is starting with two camera angles, which they hope to expand.
“We will have a link on every live performance for all of you to contribute whatever you are in the position to, so we can make sure that everyone involved in the production will continue to be able to make a living in this industry.”
Cosmic Streams is also a good place to find pre-recorded music from local artists that you can watch on your computer or cast to your television and sound system. Enter Cosmic Streams on Facebook to find their page.
If looking to support a specific band or performer, go to their Facebook page, where they will provide links to any online shows they plan. This writer’s favorite Vero Beach band, Souljam, performed a great webcast on March 21 from the Blue Bamboo Art Center in Winter Park. While it seemed a bit odd at first to see Souljam on stage before an empty room, the audio was soundboard-perfect, and the band treated fans to an energetic hour’s worth of original, mostly new material.
Visit www.bluebambooartcenter.com to purchase a replay of the Souljam concert, or to see other Florida performers. Proceeds from pay per view sales are split between the artist and venue. When you watch the video you are helping both.
Other Treasure Coast performers like Abby Owens use optional live stream tip buckets. Visit Abby Owen’s Facebook page for information on upcoming streams and donation links.
If you are able, you should give something, especially considering most local performers were struggling to pay their expenses before COVID-19 hit. Even when the webcast is free, performers hope you will click on their electronic tip jar to make donations. Your tips will help them return to live performance once the health scare passes.
If you are a Treasure Coast musician or venue with plans to stream live music during the COVID-19 crisis, send details to Hometown News through the writer’s link on this page and we will do our best to publicize them.