Local music industry struggles with COVID-19

Published: Jul. 12, 2020 at 6:46 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -The music industry has taken a big hit due to COVID-19. And it’s left stages empty. At Malarkey’s Pub, it’s been since March since they hosted a live show.

While open microphone nights have given the stage some use, with social distancing and the uncertainty lying ahead, they say booking shows is just not possible right now.

Tyler Vogt, the owner of Malarkey’s Pub , said he’s received numerous calls from musicians who want to schedule shows, but he says it’s irresponsible to schedules shows at this time.

“It’s just one of those things and again, let’s just say on a Friday night a month from now. And I sort of feel like if I lock that date down, and I’m not sure I can actually host it, they’re in better shape in booking an outdoor venue some place and making whatever money they can while it’s still safe to go outside,” Vogt explained.

Bryce Thomaschefsky is a bluegrassm, folk musician from Merrill. He quit his day job a week before the pandemic to focus on his music career.

That forced him to get creative, utilizing Facebook Live to host a weekly show, accepting tips on Venmo. These shows have garnered around 500 views a piece.

While he is now back and performing at some local venues, he was pushed to go back to a daytime job last month. He encourages others to be positive.

“When you have a lot of people who are in the same boat as you and you get the same ‘try to stay positive, there’s light at the end of the tunnel’ we’re going to all get through this, there’s going to be better days. It’s inspiring, it keeps your head up,” Thomaschefsky said.

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