For many people, watching a musician perform is how they connect with them.
For many musicians, performing for an audience is what fuels their art.
Which has made 2020 hard for many of us. With essentially all venues sitting closed for most of the year, and many remaining shutdown as COVID-19 case numbers have spiked in recent weeks, it’s harder than ever to interact with the local music community.
Free Times wants to help with that, and to bring a little normalcy back to your fall’s entertainment.
So we’re going to have a Music Crawl.
This Music Crawl will look different than our annual club-hopping music festival usually does. This year, we will feature 15 local acts, streaming pre-recorded sets performed at the venerable West Columbia rock dive New Brookland Tavern.
From Dec. 17 to 19, we will show five groups a night. That’s the lineup at the top of this post.
And because this year hasn’t given us much of anything good, we’re giving this to you. All three nights will be free to stream via Free Times’ Facebook page.
We want you to stay safe, and we don’t want to exclude those of you who are, quite reasonably, unwilling to even consider attending a socially distanced outdoor concert right now.
And Music Crawl isn’t the only thing we’re doing to highlight great local music next week. On Dec. 16, we release the 2020 edition of our Best of South Carolina Music poll, highlighting 25 standout in-state releases from the past year. Look for it in print and at free-times.com.
But we still want to give you a chance to explore via live performance the many exciting sounds that happen in this place we call home — from the explosively emotional indie rock of Stagbriar to the immersive beats of MIDIMarc, from the spiritually wracked folk-rock of E.Z. Shakes to the exciting mix of jazz, funk and rock played by Jmichael Peeples, from the furious metal/punk of Abacus to the uplifting R&B of TiffanyJ, and so much more.
We didn’t do it on our own. We assembled this year’s lineup in consultation with representatives from WXRY, SceneSC, Girls Block, Mo’ Betta Soul, #ColumbiaRules, and But I’m Not a Critic Though. And One Columbia, Richland Library and SceneSC are helping us present a Thursday night bill highlighting artists who have played “1 or 2,” the ongoing series of socially distanced performance videos these organizations helped us start back in April.
We hope you’ll join us.
As ever, this Crawl is for all.