It’s been nearly a month and a half since Gov. Kate Brown banned gatherings of 25 effectively banning in-person concerts, and reports by Bloomberg and Consequence of Sound report that live music might be out of the question for the rest of the year.
Nonetheless, 14 local musical acts are coming together to put on a virtual musical festival called Covchella starting at 4 p.m. Saturday. The concert will stream live on Twitch but attendees are asked to make a donation, all of which will go to FOOD for Lane County.
On April 3-5, L.A. events company Brownies & Lemonade held an enormous virtual festival called Digital Mirage. More than four dozen artists performed and over a million unique viewers logged on to watch according to Billboard. All told, the festival raised $300,000 for the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, a fund for musicians facing financial difficulties.
One of those million viewers was Richard Lathrop, a Eugene native who performs as Ghostnaps. Having been a musician in Eugene for years, Lathrop “got to thinking about how local artists could give back,” he said in an interview. He decided to reach out to other musicians and organize an event for FOOD for Lane County.
When Lathrop initially floated the idea of a benefit concert, he didn’t realize how popular the concept would be among artists. “If I message 20 acts, we’ll probably get three or four who want to do it,” he said. Instead, he got 14. Those acts include rock band The Macks, EDM DJ Kellalit, hip-hop/R&B musician Khalil Romeo and more.
Now, Covchella is ready to come to life. Each act, including Lathrop, will perform from their own space and Lathrop will coordinate sound and video.