FRIDAY, March 20 — Ten Pound Fiddle is one of Michigan’s live music stalwarts feeling the sting of coronavirus, canceling several shows since the preventative measures took effect. As musicians suffer lost income from the vast wave of show cancelations, the classic Lansing concert series is providing artists some much-needed financial solace.
“As a result of multiple cancellations, many smaller self-employed musicians and producers find themselves in a financially precarious situation,” Ten Pound Fiddle’s latest press release reads. “As a gesture of support, the board has voted to pay the artists whose shows were canceled approximately half of what they would have earned had they traveled here and given the scheduled show. Checks totaling over $4,000 will go out this week.”
The press release explains that the payments were possible because a majority of advance ticketholders did not request a refund when the shows were canceled.
“Fast forward a few days, and come to find out, three-quarters of the advanced ticket monies had not been refunded. In essence, a few hundred people donated those funds to the Fiddle,” organizer Sally Potter said.
So far, Ten Pound Fiddle has canceled all of its spring concerts — including Fiddle Scout gatherings. The folk concert series will release an update when a decision is reached for its contra dances in May and June; it is also working on rescheduling dates for the six concerts it canceled.
While Michigan coronavirus mandates continue, Ten Pound Fiddle is recommending supporters keep up with their favorite artists on social media, in case they announce a livestream concert. Livestream concerts have been a popular alternative. They are often free to watch but encourage viewers to make a donation.
“The Fiddle is really a partner in this live music community. While musicians need places to play, the Fiddle also counts on these incredibly talented people to make the trek to town and share their brilliance with a live audience. It's a two-way street,” Potter said.
You can keep up with Ten Pound Fiddle's announcements by visiting its website.