As more musicians kick off online concerts amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, Bandsintown is launching a new feature to support them. The concert notification service can now push out a “watch live” notification when musicians are live-streaming shows. These notifications will appear on Bandsintown, along with Facebook pages, Instagram Stories, and other places that surface Bandsintown listings.
Twitch is increasingly becoming a popular place for indie musicians to make money amid the pandemic. With touring essentially at a standstill, many are looking to online platforms in order to try and recoup lost funds from shows.
Additionally, Bandsintown has launched its own Twitch channel, with all proceeds going to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. The first show features South African DJ Black Coffee and will stream at 1PM ET today.
Bandsintown says it’s starting the channel both to connect artists with fans while many are stuck at home and to help raise more funds for MusiCares through Twitch. There are a bunch of ways to financially support streamers on Twitch, as longtime Twitch user Ducky told The Verge yesterday. Users can subscribe to channels or tip small amounts, and Amazon Prime members are able to subscribe to one channel per month for free.
“As true music fans, there are ways you can help us help artists,” reads Bandsintown’s announcement. “If you’re able to, avoid asking for refunds, buy their merch, attend their live shows when they return, donate to tips jars, or donate to MusiCares.”
MusiCares is an arm of the Recording Academy that provides financial relief to those in the music industry facing unexpected hardships. (Disclosure: I’m the vice president of the Chicago chapter of the Recording Academy.) With many musicians currently unable to tour and out of work, the organization recently launched a separate fund specifically for artists and other industry professionals affected by the pandemic.
Bandsintown says its next live stream is scheduled for next week, and it will be a multiday live music marathon featuring both emerging and established artists.