South by Southwest is canceled and Coachella is postponed, but smaller artists don't have sick leave.
The World Health Organization recently declared that the coronavirus had spread enough that the outbreak can officially be considered a pandemic.
The impact of the virus isn't just physical; self-containment advisories mean that music festivals are taking the hit. Many events have been canceled in the wake of coronavirus.Austin's South by Southwest, the Australian Bushfire Relief Concert in Melbourne, and Ultra Music Festival are just a few that have been called off entirely, while Coachella and its sister country festival Stagecoach are being postponed until October. Though it's better to be safe than sorry as the coronavirus ravages the U.S., musicians—primarily independent touring artists—are taking a huge hit.
Because streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music pretty much pay artists in pennies, many smaller bands rely on live events for their income, from ticket sales and merch profits to exposure that'll hopefully reap benefits in the future. As "festival season" becomes virtually festival-less and artists also cancel tours due to coronavirus-related fears, a vicious cycle ensues: You have to make money to be able to tour, but you have to tour to be able to make money (not to mention artists often don't have health insurance or paid sick leave from their day jobs).
As fans, we can help! Here are a few small ways that can help out your favorite band during these trying times.
Buy Their Music
This is a no-brainer. According to CNBC, artists typically earn between $0.006 to $0.0084 per stream on Spotify. That means that one hundred streams of your favorite song earns that artist less than a dollar. Streaming has done wonders for artist discovery, but in order for those bands to actually make music, you have to go about it the old fashion way: actually buy their music. Googling the artist will likely bring up a link to their webstore, where you should be able to buy physical and digital copies of their albums.
Head to Bandcamp
Bandcamp is perhaps the most artist-friendly streaming site out there. Besides being a great platform to discover your new favorite band or underground artist, when you purchase something from Bandcamp, 80-85 percent of your money goes to the artist directly. It's a pretty sweet deal. If you're feeling extra generous, you can even pay above the minimum price, too.
Show Labels Love, Too
Indie labels do a ton of work, and they deserve your love, too. Check out what labels your favorite smaller artists are signed to—you can see on Spotify when you're looking at an album. They'll likely have merch, as well. Let them know you appreciate their hard work!
Donate, If You Can
This one extends beyond music artists, but many creators also have a Patreon to help fund themselves. If you feel compelled to donate, give a few bucks to an artist/performer who would normally be making live appearances right now.
Spread the Word
Are the people in your circle big music fans? Even if you don't have the cash to shell out on merch or digital copies of music right now (we get it), use social media to get a conversation going about how the coronavirus is negatively impacting musicians, especially right now. Their work is hard, so let's try to make it a little easier for them.
- Why Don't More Straight Males Listen to Female Artists? - Popdust ›
- Every Event You Were Excited For Is Now Canceled Thanks to ... ›
- Scam Alert Coronavirus Inspires Scam Artists to Target Consumers ›
- SXSW Coronavirus Cancellation a 'Hard Pill to Swallow' for Artists ... ›
- Coronavirus fears aren't canceling Denver concerts and events just yet ›
- Coronavirus: Mariah Carey, more artists cancel shows for 'well being' ›
- Mariah Carey, BTS: artists cancel shows amid coronavirus fears ›
- AGMA RESOURCES FOR MEMBERS REGARDING CORONAVIRUS ›
- Art Basel Hong Kong fair faces calls to cancel amid coronavirus ... ›
- When the Show Must Go On, Even Amid a Coronavirus Outbreak ... ›
- Here's How Artists Are Responding To The Coronavirus ›
- How Chinese museums are coping with coronavirus: an in-depth ... ›
Breaking down the bias of comfort films.
With the constant onslaught of complicated news that 2020 has brought, sometimes you just want to be able to shut off your brain, relax, and feel happy.
Enter comfort films. These are the feel-good movies that feel like a warm hug when you finish them, the ones that allow you to escape for a short while. We often turn to these types of films in times of trouble or extreme stress, and when we're not sure what films of this nature we should watch, we turn to the Internet for options.
Rivera's "Glee" character was not just important, she was groundbreaking.
As a young queer girl growing up in the south, I was lucky that my parents weren't homophobes.
My parents believed that people were sometimes born gay, and while they wouldn't "wish that harder life" on their children, they certainly made me and my sister believe that gay people were just as worthy of love as anyone else. I was lucky.
Still, in my relatively sheltered world of Northern Virginia (a rich suburb near Washington D.C.), homophobia wasn't as blatant as hate crimes or shouted slurs, but it was generally accepted that being straight was, simply, better.
In high school, it wasn't uncommon to use "gay" as an insult or for girls to tease each other about being "lez." While many of us, if asked, would have said we were in support of gay marriage and loved The Ellen Show, being gay remained an undesirable affliction.
Even more insidious, I was instilled with the belief—by my church and my peers—that if gay and lesbian people could be straight, they would. But since they were simply incapable of attraction to the opposite sex or fitting into traditional gender roles, we should accept them as they are as an act of mercy. At the time, this kind of pity seemed progressive and noble. Those in my close circle of family and friends weren't openly dismissive or condemning of gay people, but we saw homosexuality as a clear predisposition with no gray areas.
Specifically: Gay men talked with a lilt, giggled femininely, and were interested in things that weren't traditionally "masculine." Meanwhile, gay women dressed like men, had no interest in makeup or other traditionally female interests, and probably had masculine bodies and features. In my mind, before someone came out as gay, they did everything in their power to "try to be straight" but were eventually forced to confront the difficult reality that they felt no attraction at all to the opposite sex. I viewed homosexuality not as a spectrum, but as a black and white biological predisposition that meant you were thoroughly, completely, and pitiably gay.
As a child, when I began to experience stirrings of attraction for other girls, I would reassure myself that not only had I definitely felt attraction for men in the past, but I also liked being pretty. I was a tomboy as a child, sure, but as I got older I recognized that my value was increased in the eyes of society if I tried to be a pretty girl. As it turned out, I even liked putting on clothes that made me feel good, I liked applying makeup, and I liked some traditionally "feminine" things. In my mind, this meant that I couldn't be gay, because gay women didn't like "girl" stuff.
As a teenager, I began to learn more about the difference between gender and sexuality, and the fluidity of both. I began to let myself feel some of the long-suppressed feelings of queer desire I still harbored.
Still, in the back of my mind, the instilled certainty of sexuality as an extremely rigid thing sometimes kept me up at night. What if I was gay? Would I have to change the way I looked? Would I have to give up some of the things I liked? In my mind, being gay meant your sexuality was your whole identity, and everything else about you disappeared beneath the weight of it.
But then, Santana came out as gay on Glee.
GLEE - The Santana 'Coming Out Scene' www.youtube.com
If you didn't watch Glee, than you might not know the importance of Naya Rivera's character to so many queer young women like myself. Santana was beautiful, she was popular, she had dated boys, she was feminine, she was sexy, and she was gay. There's even evidence that Santana had previously enjoyed relationships with men.
But the character came out anyways, not because she had to or because it was obvious to everyone around her that she was gay, but because her attraction to women was an aspect of her identity she was proud of. It wasn't an unfortunate reality she simply had to make the best of; it was an exciting, beautiful, aspect of her identity worth celebrating.
Before Santana, it had never really come home for me that being gay wasn't an entire identity—that it wasn't an affliction or disorder, but just another part of a person. She also didn't suddenly start wearing flannels or cutting her hair after coming out. She was the same feminine person she had always been. I had never realized that being a gay woman didn't have to look a certain way. Santana and Brittany's gay storyline showed two femme-presenting women in love, and for me, that was a revolution.
If it wasn't for Naya Rivera, we may never have had that important story line.
"It's up to writers, but I would love to represent [the LGBTQ community] because we know that there are tons of people who experience something like that and it's not comical for them in their lives," Rivera told E! News in 2011. "So I hope that maybe we can shed some light on that."
While Rivera herself wasn't gay (the importance of casting gay actors in gay roles is a separate conversation), she understood how important her character was to the queer community. "There are very few ethnic LGBT characters on television, so I am honored to represent them," Rivera told Latina magazine in 2013. "I love supporting this cause, but it's a big responsibility, and sometimes it's a lot of pressure on me."
Rivera wasn't just a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community on screen. In 2017, she wrote a "Love Letter to the LGBTQ Community" for Billboard's Pride Month. In it, she wrote, "We are all put on this earth to be a service to others and I am grateful that for some, my Cheerios ponytail and sassy sashays may have given a little light to someone somewhere, who may have needed it. To everyone whose heartfelt stories I have heard, or read I thank you for truly enriching my life."
Now, as we mourn the loss of Naya Rivera, at least we can take comfort in knowing that her legacy will live on—that the light her Cheerios ponytail and sassy sashays gave us won't go out any time soon.
Excuse me, I have to go weep-sing-along to Rivera's cover of landslide now.
Glee - Landslide (Full Performance + Scene) 2x15 youtu.be
- How Brittana On 'Glee' Made My Feelings For Women Finally Feel ... ›
- 'Glee's' Naya Rivera on Brittany and Santana's 'New Challenge ... ›
- 'Glee' Actor Naya Rivera's Body Recovered From California Lake ... ›
- Exclusive: 'Glee' Star Naya Rivera on Gay Rumors | Entertainment ... ›
- 'Glee' actress Naya Rivera's Santana comes out to applause - Los ... ›