+++UPDATES: Watch This Space whatshot

We are posting 24-hour updates from nighttime communities all over the world, about how our cities – from grassroots culture scenes to policymakers – are responding to the coronavirus crisis in support of cultural spaces, scenes, and the people who create them.

Have thoughts to add, initiatives to signal-boost, or good ideas to share? Please send us information, links, articles, videos about the current situation in your local scene that could help nighttime communities globally. Reach out if you have questions or want to offer support of any kind. hello@vibe-lab.org 

+++UPDATE: USA: Community Radio Fights to Stay Live (and Weird) Despite Coronavirus

In an article in the New York Times, Brett Sokol catches up with some of America’s noncommercial, community radio programmers, who have been forced into hastily improvising a response to the growing spread of Covid-19.

Local stations have cut down on D.J.s coming to the studio, but playlists and personalities are holding strong as small stations get a chance to build bigger audiences.

“This is the situation that so many broadcasters dream of!” said Ken Freedman, the station manager and program director at WFMU. “You have a global, captive audience, and everyone can share and commiserate their experiences. But it’s not safe to go to the station!”

Matthew Dunn of WOMR : “As much as anything else, this is an opportunity to spread joy at a time when people really need it,” he said. “We’ve had some things taken away from us, but radio is not one of them.”

Read the full article in NY times.

+++UPDATE: Zurich’s nightlife has the virus

Alexander Bücheli writing for Hello Zurich looks at the difficulties facing Zurich’s bars and clubs:

“Zurich’s nightlife scene is hoping that politicians will start to act more decisively and provide it with more support than was the case at cantonal level when this crisis began. Politicians cannot leave it up to organisers to decide whether or not to hold an event with up to 1,000 people. If you love Zurich’s nightlife, why not support your favourite club by buying vouchers or supporting a crowdfunding appeal? Together, we’ll all get through this crisis. And afterwards we’ll all dance together!”

Read the full article in Hello Zurich

+++UPDATE: USA: Once they built stages for Coachella. Now they’re building coronavirus triage tents

Ryan Choura, chief executive of Choura Events, pivoted his company from working on music festivals to building triage tents for the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Choura Events, based in Southern California provides tents and staging facilities for tens of thousands of attendees at music, sport and dining events across the US. However in the course of a month, what had been a profitable market for live events, has totally collapsed due to the pandemic.

“Live Nation and AEG closed down their entire festival and concert schedule, along with all major sports leagues playing now. His 200 employees were suddenly without any work, and it was difficult to see when anybody would be gathering in public in the near future.”

Despite the chaos, Choura saw a sudden urgency for very specific services his firm could provide. Hospitals and local governments were in dire need of temporary facilities to treat COVID-19 patients.

Read the full article in the LA Times

+++UPDATE: More Than 100 Touring Industry Professionals Unite to Form Independent Promoter Alliance

Promoter Dave Poe of New York-based Patchwork Presents, and Jessica Gordon from Broadberry Entertainment Group  in Richmond, Virginia, have come together to form the Independent Promoter Alliance in light of COVID-19 and its dire effects on the live music industry

“At the end of the day, Jessica and I wanted to organize something so it gives people a place to go,” Poe tells Billboard. “It is really for the promoters and talent buyers and venue owners who don’t talk to other entities and are doing it on their own. Maybe it will help them just a little bit to hear other people who are all in the same boat and what everyone is doing to weather the storm, because it is going to be rough.”

Read the full article in Billboard

Independent promoters, venue owners and talent buyers can register for the group here with more information to come.

+++UPDATE: China, Italy and South Korea: How Will Artists Survive the Pandemic?

Image from Shanghai Community Radio

In online publication Talkhouse, – an outlet for musicians, actors, filmmakers- artist John Colpitts talks to musicians from China, Italy, and South Korea about life in lockdown, the unique scenarios they’ve lived through, and what their experiences might have to teach us a few weeks later.

An interesting point to consider comes from South Korea, who up until Sunday March 22, had no official shut down of live performances or gatherings. The audiences decreased but the performers were still paid their fees. This is because the South Korean health institute was extremely thorough with testing and the digital tracking of the disease.

“The South Korean music economy was able to walk this razor’s edge between closure and partial openness through heavily investing in data and tracking. ”

John Colpitts, Talkhouse

Head to Talkhouse to read the full feature.

+++UPDATE: Australia: Free Deliveroo vouchers for Hospitality workers

Hospitality workers impacted by the unfolding Covid-19 crisis based in Victoria, NSW and Queensland. , have had meal vouchers worth $25 offered to feed workers during tough times, whilst keeping takeaway businesses operating .

Four thousand vouchers are available courtesy of Pernod Richard (who make wines and spirits for brands such as Absolute Vodka, Jameson Whiskey and Jacobs Creek), will be made available via Deliveroo.

The offer applies to anyone who works in hospitality, from bar workers, chefs, kitchen hands, sommeliers and front-of-house to sales reps.

Visit TimeOut for the full article and more info on how to sign up.

+++UPDATE: New campaign to champion independent record stores every day.

Backed by artists such as Floating Points, ColdCut, Erased Tapes, Eglo and Jazz Re:freshed, the campaign aims to save independent record stores that have temporarily closed, by shining a light on a a different store each day on social media.

The social campaign started today, representing Banquet Records in Kingston-upon-Thames, UK, and encourages people to purchase records online and directly over the phone.

Check #recordstoreoftheday on instagram to stay updated and to celebrate your favourite or local music community.

Read the full feature in Crack Mag.

+++UPDATE: Vilnius cultural venues facing bankruptcy ask municipality to guarantee emergency loans

The Vilnius Night Alliance has proposed a rescue plan, known as the “Night Fund”, it has been delivered to the Mayor’s desk and is currently under consideration. 

Rūta Meškauskaitė, Executive Director of the Vilnius Night Alliance, stresses the importance of small, independent, private venues in the fabric of Vilnius culture.

“This constellation of small venues provides homes for all genres and disciplines. These cultural institutions are the guardians of creative variety, allowing a wide range of the city’s upcoming artists to experiment, learn and grow as they perform.”

– Ruta Meškauskaitė, Executive Director, Vilnius Night Alliance

The former Night Mayor of Amsterdam Mirik Milan, one of the consultants from VibeLab who took part in the Vilnius night economy study, has also backed the Night Fund plan, stating that

“Culture spaces urgently need access to financial solutions to fill the gap left by the shutdown. The state must step in and guarantee small business loans to save these essential places and keep the city’s culture alive.”

– Mirik Milan, former Night Mayor of Amsterdam and founder of VibeLab

For the full article head to the Vilnius Night Alliance website

+++UPDATE: ‘There has never been a more important time to keep active as an artist.’

James Cattermole, label manager of UK-based Absolute, writes about the urgency for artists to keep going during this difficult period.

Founded in 1998, independent label services company Absolute has worked on high profile album releases from artists and labels including Steps, All Saints, Jake Shears, Kim Wilde, Alice Cooper, 67, Dappy, Ay Em, RAM Records, Danny Jones, Ferris & Sylvester and many more.

Cattermole states:

“We are experiencing an unprecedented moment in history right now. The last few weeks have seen Covid-19 affect our daily lives, bringing huge uncertainty and numerous challenges for everyone in the music industry.”

Label manager suggests working on social media presence, new releases, going live, bookkeeping, heath-checks and admin and last but not least, staying inside and staying healthy.

For detailed artist advice head to the article 

UPDATE: UK: Radio listening booms while music streaming stalls

Research states that more people are turning to Radio to entertain themselves during the course of the crisis.

Global, which owns Capital FM and talk station LBC, said online radio listening had risen by 15%.The BBC said streaming of its radio stations had risen 18% since last week. Meanwhile, data from two US analytics companies suggested use of music-streaming apps such as Spotify had dipped by about 8%

Perhaps a familiar radio voice, background noise, or the illusion on company whilst in self isolation, is more comforting than focusing on selecting and streaming content whilst alone at home.

Read the full BBC article: Coronavirus: Radio listening booms while music streaming stalls