One consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic is the cancellation of live musical acts and closure of venues.
While bars and restaurant dining rooms may be closed right now, one local musician is still bringing people the joys of live music straight from home.
James Gillies has been a fixture of the Coast’s music scene for well over a decade and has been entertaining fans at bars, restaurants, and other big events ever since. “If it were up to me I’d probably do all 90s, but I do deviate from that and do some newer things, some classic rock, some 80s, you know, things like that.”
With the coronavirus wiping out all of his upcoming performances, Gilles sprung into action to keep the music going with live performances from the Facebook pages of local businesses. “I reached out to them and I said ‘hey I’m booked with you this Saturday, I know that’s not going to happen, but would you let me take over your Facebook page and do a live, Facebook Live show from your page that night at that time or whatever. So far most of them have been very receptive to it and been happy to let me do it.”
This weekend alone, with simply his phone and instrument, he was able to bring his sounds to viewers on the pages of ‘Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar’ and ‘The Lazy Gator’ with more performances still ahead. “We’ll continue to reach out to some of the other regular places I play at to see if I can stay busy and maybe do every Friday and Saturday night, or whatever they’re open to.”
The hope is that these performances not only bring people joy but help out both businesses and customers in the long run. “It helps these venues stay in contact with their followers, to give them something to do, say we can’t feed you right now, we can’t have you in, at the bar or anything, but we will have some live music for you and give you some entertainment while you’re at it.”