Since the COVID-19 crisis decimated the local concert scene and music industry (along with everything else that is holy), artists and promoters have found countless ways to support the creative community, from Will Dailey’s Isolation Tour benefitting Zumix, to The Record Co.’s Boston Music Maker COVID-19 Fund.
Now, Redefined, the company behind the Boston Music Awards, will enter the virtual arena with #thisis617, a contest that will highlight a new video from a local musician—yes, the ones you make at home on quarantine not only count but are encouraged—every day for eight weeks. All winners of the daily contest will receive $100 thanks to a sponsorship from Jack Daniel’s (DigBoston will co-sponsor some of the winning videos).
“It’s around this time that we begin our live music events for the year,” Paul Armstrong, CEO of Redefined, said about the recording program which last year led up to the December BMA show at the House of Blues. “For obvious reasons, those plans had to change and, in turn, so did our thinking. Even during these testing times, our goal and commitment to local music remains the same—to support, celebrate, and unite throughout the year.”
“Project #thisis617 is an idea for the times we see ourselves living in right now,” Armstrong added, “as well as one that looks forward to the future.”
A press release from Redefined broke #thisis617 down as follows:
Step One: The primary phase of the project puts money into the pockets of local artists now by encouraging video uploads from the safety of their homes. At the end of each artist video, we ask artists to nominate a different local artist to keep the chain going.
Step Two: The second phase is multifaceted and looks forward through the remainder of 2020. While it is critical that artists receive support immediately, the Boston Music Awards wanted to ensure there would be future paid performance opportunities for artists when the world returns to “normal”, including a performance slot at the 2020 Boston Music Awards.
Step Three: With the temporary closure of recording studios, artists and studios are left in limbo, eager to once again return to the development and recording of new music. This makes the 617Sessions music program even more important. In its fourth year, the 617Sessions will continue to provide 10 different artists a complimentary full day in the studio at The Bridge Sound and Stage studio.
As for the big big bash at the end of the year …
“I’m hoping that come December, the world will be in a much, much better place, and we can celebrate not only Boston music, but simply being together as a community.”