MPTF Funding Creates Gigs During Pandemic

September 14, 2020

Since the COVID-19 Pandemic effectively suspended all live musical performance, the AFM has been working out new ways to use the funding of Music Performance Trust Fund to respond to the crisis by creating new, safe performance engagements. The entire festival season where hundreds of Local 72-147 members are featured in signature events such as the Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival and the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival had to be tragically canceled for 2020. As bars, restaurants and clubs have been opened only under great restrictions, gigs have disappeared and musicians are asked to play for tips, or nothing at all, with limited safety measures in place.

Since the traditional festival is no longer possible for the time being, Local 72-147 is now working out alternative ways to use MPTF support to create safe, paying gigs. This month, a new “Musicians in the Park” series in Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park on Thursday evenings has begun. The performances are socially distanced in the open air an, weather permitting, will be live streamed through MPTF’s social media platforms.

Also beginning is a partnership worked out with Steve’s Bar in Denton for MPTF supported programs. While the bar will not be open to the public yet, visitors will be able to view the shows regularly performed on Wednesday nights from an open patio, as they will also be live streamed to a larger audience. In addition to the regular live performance wages, musicians will be paid media payments as part of an AFM streaming contract. All of this has been made possible by the AFM’s work, at putting together a framework to use streaming to support live performances while not compromising media rights and payments.

Other projects are in planning stages to create safe performance engagements which maintain pay scale, media protections, and audience engagement.