The City of Bonn has now officially forbidden gatherings of below 1000 people in the areas of Cinema, general Culture (readings/Cabaret etc), Dances, Party ships, Live concerts, theatre and variety. With regard to musical events, promoters have also begun to announce amendments and official cancellations. The entire ‘Over The Border’ Festival has now been cancelled, with Manuel Banha hoping to move it to the end of August/September. Bonn Folk Club has cancelled it’s April meeting and hopes to begin again with Featured Guest David Blair on 1 May.
The Harmonie in Bonn was in the somewhat bizarre situation this week of actually transmitting concerts for the Rockpalast Crossroads Festival on Friday and Saturday but without an actual audience. Somehow the likes of Laura Cox managed to deliver excellent shows with just a handfull of camera men in front of them. Kudos to the bands involved!
Musicians themselves, faced with uncertainty of whether gigs would take place here in Europe, and worried about possible future travel restrictions, have also been heading home. As British rockers The Brew announced on Facebook:
“KARLSRHUE IS NOW CANCELLED. Just got the call from the promoter. Oh well it was fun while it lasted. Now we try and get home before they close the borders 😫”
Mike Zito, who was scheduled to bring his Chuck Berry Tribute show to the Harmonie on 22 March, announced:
“Well the time has come……
I asked the good Lord to tell me when it was time to go home and he told me yesterday. After a growing concern for my band members, my family and our dedicated fans, we made the decision to fly back home tomorrow morning.
It’s going to get worse before it gets better and I think we all need to be at home now. We will arrive tomorrow evening and enjoy a 14 day self quarantine.
Time to write songs and be creative. Please be safe and do what needs to be done right now. It’s all in our best interest. Love each other and turn the music up loud! (At home)”
Unless you are The Rolling Stones, not being able to tour is a disaster financially for musicians. You CAN help though. How? A post from recent Harmonie visitor Thorbjorn Risager has some suggestions:
“How to be a music fan in the age of Coronavirus
As you know so many musicians are forced to cancel shows and loose out on a big chunk of their income for god knows how long. Artists are hurting, venues and festivals are hurting.
So here’s a guide on how to be a fan of music without leaving your house.
Stream a lot of music
… especially from those artists that were supposed to tour right now. When finding something you’re into, spend a few seconds on saving their releases to your library and adding their songs to your playlists. It doesn’t only make it easier for you to return to the music, it also improves the odds for getting the algorithms to work in favor of those songs.
Share a lot of music
Share music on social media (while tagging artist profiles). Also send streaming links of your discoveries directly to the friends you think will enjoy them too. You can even drop a line to radio stations and podcasts you like and request airplay for the artists you love.
Stay in touch with artists
Follow artists you love on social media and sign up for their newsletters.
Reconsider asking for refunds on cancelled shows. The artists, venues, technicians etc. all need any income they can get to stay afloat.
Discover music via credits
Look up releases you love on Discogs to explore what other records the same producer, drummer, bass player etc. also contributed to. And while you’re on Discogs, also check out who the record label is and explore their roster. It’s likely that you share their taste in music and will discover more music curated by them
Order records and merchandise online.
Wearing a band t-shirt or drinking from a record label mug in public is also a great way to spread the word about the music you love. So why not order a piece of merchandise and a few physical records online (and be patient for their arrival). It doesn’t matter if you order with a shop, a label or directly from the artist. They all need to stay alive in the music industry of tomorrow..”
Keep listening to, and supporting, music. It really is the best medicine!