Artists and Fans Flock to ‘Shut In & Sing” Virtual Music Festival


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Since it kicked off last week, Shut In & Sing, the live-streamed concert series launched by Hangin’ & Sangin’ podcast host Kelly McCartney and singer/songwriter Natalia Zukerman, has attracted over 100 artists to its lineup of live-streamed performances. Everyone from Keb’ Mo’, Rhiannon Giddens, Mary Gauthier, McCrary Sisters, to Jerry Douglas, the War & Treaty, Courtney Marie Andrews, and Steve Forbert has signed on to perform for fans who are staying safe from coronavirus by staying home…and more artists are joining every day. The performances are being aired via Stageit, with the profits split between the participants.

In addition to the regularly-scheduled shows, Shut In & Sing will feature a special Easter gospel/spirit lineup on April 12th, as well as an all-instrumental Shut In & Pluck night on May 9th.

The festival has also partnered with various organizations for the following takeover shows:

April 15: Compass Records
April 17: AMA
April 19: Rounder Records
April 22: Our Native Daughters
April 24: Smithsonian Folkways
May 3: Cantina Navarro
May 6: AMA UK

“Every project that I work on is centered on creating ways to bring fans and artists together, and that holds true even more in times when we find ourselves kept apart by forces beyond our control,” said McCartney. “When Natalia had the brilliant mini-festival idea, I knew my friends at StageIt could make that happen – and they did. To be met with such a wonderfully enthusiastic response from artists and fans that we have to keep adding shows is exactly what we had hoped for.”

The idea behind the festival was simple: The music world is a small, interconnected world – and one that has a strong grassroots organization. As a community that has always stepped up to help one another out in good times and in bad, why not have artists take care of each other in these challenging times – and provide some amazing entertainment in the process?

“Every touring musician I know lost their ability to make money in mere hours as the pandemic and measures to contain it came to light. I panicked…and then I tapped into a deep desire that I always have to find and create opportunity out of adversity,” explained Zukerman. “I also became very aware that people would be turning to online concerts as the only available option to continue our connection with our fans and maintain our identity as performers. How can we turn this into a chance to cross-pollinate, share our resources, and maybe even lighten the effects of social isolation?”

The response from fellow artists was immediate and resounding, with the festival quickly amassing a list of over 75 participating artists. Singer/songwriter Matt the Electrician was one of the artists eager to take part in the series.

“Right now is a complex swirling of emotions and intensity the likes that almost none of us have ever known,” he said. “The reasons to play online right now are, of course, multi-pronged. Many of us traveling artists have had our ability to financially maintain our lives put on hold indefinitely. Meanwhile, everyone else has had their live, in-person entertainment and connection taken from them,” Matt continued. “Performers and audiences, in the best of times, need one another. And in the worst of times, hopefully, we can rely on and serve one another.”

“Music keeps us all connected even when we can’t be together,” commented Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Lori McKenna, who is also participating in the festival. “I love that Kelly and Natalia have put this all together. It’s a wonderful way for us all to be there for one another.”

“The response was, and has been, overwhelming and is proving to be a bolstering light,” says Zukerman. “We band together and take care of each other. We are a community and we will get through this. This too shall pass, and in the meantime, we’re gonna sing.” The series will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesdays, 8 to 10 p.m. EDT Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of each week, and 12 to 3 p.m. EDT on Sundays. People can find the “Shut In & Sing” festival schedule and buy tickets at www.stageit.com/shutinandsing.