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Missouri Music Aid Will Host Fundraiser To Support Music professionals

The stomping of “Boone Land”; banjo-strumming, kazoo-humming, bluegrass-thumping of Moniteau; rhythmic trotting of goat toes of Jefferson; Grammy-nominated country singing; and nationally renowned rocking.

For 11 hours and across six promoters’ Facebook pages, Missouri Music Aid, with the help of the Voluntary Action Center, will host live and recorded local and national performances to support Missouri-based musicians and venue workers struggling because of COVID-19-related financial hardships.

The Sept. 5 event will be headlined by Nick Hexum of 311 and Nathan Hunt of Shaman’s Harvest and will feature the work of 16 artists from around the state and Midwest region.

Promoters include the Pedaler’s Jamboree, “Big Muddy Music Hour,” The Blue Note, KBIA/91.3 FM, LV Creative and Roots N Blues Festival.

Missouri Music Aid will create a grant from the fundraiser for musicians and industry professionals — including bouncers and bartenders — who can apply for auxiliary assistance to ease pandemic-related losses, said Colin LaVaute, CEO of LV Creative and creator of Missouri Music Aid.

Grant applications will be processed by an independent community panel. LaVaute said he did not yet want to disclose the individuals on the panel.

LaVaute is deeply invested in the music industry: He is the host of the KBIAs show “Big Muddy Music Hour”; co-director of Pedaler’s Jamboree; guitarist of Decadent Nation; and CEO of his own marketing and event consulting company, LV Creative.

He is concerned about the longevity of music venues, which right now are not booking shows.

“The live music venue, in particular, plays such a pivotal role in terms of providing a platform for the national artist to come into town and also the local act and working with local advertising agencies,” he said.

Pat Kay works on both sides of the industry, as an artist in a one-man “stomp grass” band from Moniteau County as well as a talent buyer for The Blue Note and Rose Music Hall. He has had to cancel or reschedule several hundred shows this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past six months, he has booked, rebooked and rebooked work again. For a single date, he had to reschedule an event five different times.

“It’s just exhausting,” Kay said. “Building your schedule, it’s a lot like building sandcastles whenever a wave of cases ... , you know. Whatever you had completely washes away, and you have to start over.”

He has even seen fellow artists in touring bands take up lawn mowing to get by.

Kay is also worried about the cultural aspect of the industry.

“The internet has been clogged with livestreams,” he said.

It was exciting when it started, Kay said. His band activated South American fan bases in places like Argentina, Chile and Brazil.

However, interest drops off, he said. People get lost in the oversaturated livestream market. He fears that there will no longer be bands that come out of nowhere to play in front of people who will discover them.

“That’s why events like Missouri Music Aid are so important,” Kay said. “They give us an opportunity to combine forces and raise the profile of what we are trying to do and ask for help, to have a louder microphone to ask for help.”

Missouri Music Aid will stream live from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 5 on the Facebook pages of the six major sponsors.