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Livestreams and virtual tip jars: How Austin musicians are coping during the pandemic

Venues may not be open, but the live music continues.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World, a title the city earned from its amount of live music venues. 

During the coronavirus pandemic, the venues may not be open, but the live music continues. 

Musician Sydney Wright has turned to performing on interactive livestreams with a chat and a virtual tip jar. 


Hey, glad you're here. You can follow me on your fave social media here: https://linktr.ee/sydneywrightofficial My merch booth is set up at https://sydneywrightofficial.com/shop An INTERACTIVE merch booth and tip jar are at www.sydneywright.live Subscribe to sneak peeks and downloads of my releases on Patreon for $1/month: https://www.patreon.com/sydneywright Venmo: @Biscuits Paypal: https://paypal.me/sydneywrightmusic Sign up for the Famlist at www.sydneywrightmusic.com Thank you

Posted by Sydney Wright on Friday, May 1, 2020

She said her livestreams open up opportunity for new people to see her music. 

"It's been really fun. I enjoy it. When I first started I was wondering why I hadn't been doing this sooner," said Wright.

She said even after live venues open up, she will continue her livestreams. 

Austin DJ Cassie Shankman is doing Instagram Live DJ sets. Her performances are all about bringing joy to both her and her audience.

"I don't know what it is. I can't see anybody on the other side, but it makes me so happy," said Shankman. 

She also recently worked on a project bringing together Austin musicians to sing "What the World Needs Now."

Shankman said putting the video together with other musicians gave her a purpose.

She added, "Even though I have no income right now, it was just what can I do right now to utilize this time and just make myself happy."

If you're looking for ways to help out Austin musicians, Wright said, "If you need what you have, hang onto it, but if you can, money. We need to pay our bills."

Shankman agrees, saying, "Sending a little tip of, you know, a couple bucks."


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If you can't help financially, a little support goes a long way. Shankman said to watch their streams and show a little encouragement. 

"It just makes you feel relevant and happy and like you have some kind of community," she said.


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