TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - When restaurants and bars were ordered to cease dine-in operations in Tucson, local artists felt the sting. Many performers were forced to cancel gigs for weeks to come.
“I think I had to cancel seven gigs from the middle of the month until the beginning of April,” said Gabi Montoya, a Tucson musician.
Montoya commends Startup Tucson, a nonprofit that has found a way to bring music into the homes of those in isolation, while rallying support for struggling artists.
“It’s really difficult, first of all being a musician and not be able to perform, but also the income part, especially since a lot of us have a really delicate balance between all of our side jobs and our gigs,” said Montoya. “I don’t necessarily have a typical day job, so I have kind of built my schedule so I that can babysit a few times a week, teach some music lessons a few times a week, but I am transitioning to trying to get enough gigs to be able to pay most of my bills. I do get a decent amount of my income from gigs, though.”
On Monday, March 23rd, Montoya became the first performer to participate in Startup Tucson’s “Digital Concert Series”. Every weekday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., the organization streams a concert on Facebook.
To help lessen the blow of being without work for a while, a relief fund has been set up for local performers.
“I think we raised over $1,000 during the hour that I was performing,” said Montoya, who sang several originals. “So, that was really touching to see; not only that this organization cared and they wanted to help us, but that the community was taking the time to watch.”
The fund has already raised over $18,000.
For information on the concert lineup, to watch the concerts live or to donate, click here.