Steve Shannon’s Open Letter To Fans of Rockford’s Returning Live Music Scene
There is almost nothing I enjoy more than live music. As a fan, and a musician, I could not be more excited to have live music back as an option for a night out.
When chatting with friends about doing something fun this weekend, it's hard to come up with something to do that doesn't involve some sort of covid-related modification. Masks, social distancing, I'm ok with having to do all of that and more, in order to do some of the things I love doing. There's just nothing like watching a band hit that sweet-spot in their set, live and in-person.
For me, the smartest decision was getting vaccinated.
As a musician, I don't want to miss one opportunity to play, and as a fan, I want to be able to go several places around Rockford to see my friends play. I also look forward to seeing my friends that haul, setup and operate PA systems and lights that make the bands look and sound fantastic. For nearly 15 months, the live music industry has been nearly non-existent.
It has taken a lot of hard work and sacrifice for us to get to this point, I sure hope we don't screw this up. In the last couple weeks, I've read many posts and had a few conversations, that revolved around what would be nice to see, as the live music scene in Rockford is beginning to return.
Someone said these should be called rules, I disagree.
I'd love for these things to be something you followed like rules, but rules drive some people crazy. So let's say this about what you're going to read next - we wont call these rules, but good people who truly love live music, and the venues that feature it, would just call this being a good person
LIVE MUSIC HATER: "Can you put me on the guest list?"
LIVE MUSIC LOVER: (says nothing and buys the ticket/pays the cover charge).
LIVE MUSIC HATER: Doesn't bother wearing a mask when the venue asked you to.
LIVE MUSIC LOVER: Wears mask if asked and makes sure it covers their mouth AND nose.
LIVE MUSIC HATER: Asks for a free drink.
LIVE MUSIC LOVER: Remembers that this venue/bar has also been through some rough times in the last 15 months.
LIVE MUSIC HATER: Doesn't tip well or not at all.
LIVE MUSIC LOVER: Feels this way about tipping - 20% is ok, 25% is better and more than 25% is best. Anything under 20% is not acceptable.
LIVE MUSIC LOVER: Finds a way to support their favorite bands and venues even when they can't make a show, by sharing social media posts, listening to the music, even inviting friends to the event page.
LIVE MUSIC LOVER: Will always be kind. Some of us might be a little rusty as it may have been quite awhile since we've been on stage.
LIVE MUSIC LOVER: VISITS ALL MERCH TABLES.
LIVE MUSIC LOVER: Posts photos from the show on Instagram and Facebook and remembers to tag the band and the venue.
Just be kind. It really is as simple as that.
Let's do everything we can to make sure we don't have go back to restricting live music. I'm excited to also share that starting in June, I'll back with the band I helped start in 2004, The Stevee Nix. Connect with the band on Facebook for booking info.
Also, Rockford's Local Music Scene on Facebook, is your best choice for band schedules?
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Steve Shannon is host of The Steve Shannon Show on 97ZOK. On the air weekday mornings from 6 to 10 a.m. and a special 'Rewind' show, featuring favorite moments from previous shows, on Saturday mornings from 5 to 7 a.m.. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and like his page on Facebook.