There’s no denying that the pandemic has affected all of us at varying degrees, and since the music industry relies heavily on a steady stream of in-person shows, artists are feeling a hard blow. It’s not the music festivals and the sold-out world tours we’re talking about, though, it’s those independent artists you survive off of a string of intimate, live shows to keep their music–and their own livelihood–stable.

If you can’t live without discovering musicians that speak to your soul, if you thrive off of loving the little-known acts about to burst, know that they’re having the toughest time of it all. And here’s how you can keep their dreams alive:

Donations

Easily the most obvious on the list, a sure-fire way to help struggling artists is by sending funds directly to their own pockets. Most indie musicians have links on their Bandcamp or social accounts to PayPal, Venmo, and other cash sharing services. If this might be overwhelming for you (never knowing how much to give is always an anxious moment), then look for non-profits and organizations that are sending aid directing to musicians and musical support. NPR has listed some great emergency funds here.

Gas them Up

Being their number 1 fan no longer means camping out to get front row at their shows. Right now, it means using your own voice to promote, share, and love their work–garnering the potential for new fans and supporters along the way. Every time you post about your favorite indie artists, they interact with you directly–they see your support and that is invaluable to them, especially right now. Hype them up. Get people excited to see them live when we next can.

Grab Sweet Merch

If you’ve already done the donating thing and want to do even more in the means of funding, keep their brand alive by investing in some merch. Many artists have actually begun to offer even more items to expand their own revenue streams during this time. Merch can be investing in special, limited edition vinyl releases, or just in some sweet schwag for your collection. Either way, show your support by owning it and wearing it proudly. If they’re so indie that they don’t have merch, make your own! Share it with them and who knows, maybe you’ll inspire them to release some down the road.

Keep those Tickets

We know that at the beginning of the pandemic, pretty much all of our live concert plans were blown to bits. Music festival season was postponed until next year and our hearts were broken. Most shows and festivals have offered ticket holders the opportunity to hold on to their tickets for the postponed date instead of requesting a refund. If you’ve been given that option, and if you can spare the cash, keep those tickets whether or not you still plan to attend. The teams organizing those shows and the artists who are pre-booked get to hold onto more than just hope when you do.

Stream them Live

Finally, live streams is the name of the game lately, and if you’re still as excited for living room sessions as we are, then we suggest you keep tuning in. Even if you’re busy and can’t give them your full attention, the more “views” the more their shows reach a wider audience. Live streams also are a great way to donate to these artists, an act of charity they get to see in-person. If you have a show coming up, make an event out of it! Grab your concert crew and zoom the performance together. Eventually, it’ll feel like they’re playing just for you.

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