We love concerts for a cause!
MCB(1) Trigger Hippy at The BasementCredit Brian Diamon
Trigger Hippy at The Basement
| Credit: Brian Diamon

Music City has been a little quieter lately.

Home to famed live-performance venues like the Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Café, Nashville has long been a mecca for aspiring singers and songwriters, as well as a destination for concert lovers and music aficionados. But COVID-19 has hit the city's music scene hard, shuttering performance venues and leaving many local musicians without work. A new virtual concert series aims to change that tune.

From September 14 through the end of October, Music City Bandwidth will host 30 virtual concerts, in turn supporting 15 independent live-music venues and providing work for around 120 Nashville-based musicians who represent a variety of genres.

The virtual concert series includes performances by artists like soul singer Devon Gilfillian and country-rock-and-roll band Teddy and the Rougher Riders, from venues like The Basement, The Bluebird Café, and Exit/In. (Find the full lineup here.) Shows air at 7 p.m. Central Time, and viewers are encouraged to donate to a relief fund for local venues and musicians while they watch. You can also buy Music City Bandwidth T-shirts; 100% of the T-shirt proceeds go to Nashville's independent music venues.

Andrew Combs at High Watt
Andrew Combs at High Watt
| Credit: Courtesy of Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp

Exit/In owner and president of Nashville's Music Venue Alliance Chris Cobb acknowledged just how badly local venues are suffering in light of the coronavirus in a recent press release.

"Nashville's independent music venues have been devastated by the pandemic," he says. "We have been closed since March, and even though we have operated frugally and responsibly, have been forced to lay off 90 percent of our employees. We fear many of us will close permanently. We know there are many people rooting for us to survive, and this marketing initiative is one of the first pieces of assistance to finally come through."

So mark your calendars for a Music City Bandwidth show, and take a virtual trip to Nashville. It's up to all of us to keep the music playing!

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