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are not going anywhere,”said Rob Pape,Medicine Hat Folk Music Club’s executive and artistic director. “They will absolutely be a part of shows going forward


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into the future. It has allowed an avenue of accessibility that was never there before,by not limiting people by geo- graphic location.” Pape said you’re going to see the price of live shows go up because people are so badly wanting them and understanding the value of the experience of a live show. “I think you’ll see the live show tickets go up in price — but you’ll also see a second-tiered ticketing option, where for instance, it’ll end up being $50 for a live show or $10 to be able to watch it at home on your TV and stereo kind of scenario,”said Pape.“So most shows will be able to get their local demographic and they can also tap into a global demographic of accessibility.” The virtual shows have seen a change in costs, in terms of the produc- tion of the live performance and how the events are marketed. “Like for instance, the (Medicine Hat) Folk Music Club, in our advertising


over the last week (since the second last week of January),we’ve reached 20,000 people online, as opposed to the (Tongue on the Post) Festival in a normal year,we maybe have 1,000 people in attendance,”said Pape. “You have to change your entire marketing plan. But there’s definitely


more reach with taking it online and the ability to control shows, control the quality.You don’t have the problem of somebody attending a show and that band happen to be playing too loud. It’s a controlled, mixed sound coming through a board and a professional sound engineer — so by the time it comes to you at home, it’s all at manageable levels — and if you want to turn it up, you can and if you want to turn it down you can.”


eople have been enjoying live-streamed con- certs from the comfort of their homes for almost a year,amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and it appears that option will be available for the foreseeable future.


“I can tell you with 100 per cent certainty live streams


Pape refers to the amount of work that goes into host- ing an online show as an “iceberg effect.” “The end product with the stream going out to the TV — it looks so nice and smooth and simple,”he said. “But the reality is for a show of this magnitude — we


probably had 200 hours tied up pre-production — just getting things prepared.The graphics, the sponsors (and) building your lower thirds.” The virtual concert demand is “very big,” says Pape. “It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in right now,


everybody is scrambling and struggling to do what it is they do within the parameters that are given to them,” said Pape.


Medicine Hat musician Jay Bowcott has played close to 40 virtual con-


certs since the pandemic began last March. “There hasn’t been as much as there used to be,but when it comes


around it’s nice,”he said. “It’s nice to play a gig, even if they’re online.There’s not many people in


the room. It’s been a learning experience for all of us, to not have an audi- ence directly in front of you to chat with.So you have to come up with some ideas of what you’re going to talk about before the show actually happens.But we’re all adapting —online is a great thing — and I’ve done alone stuff before the pandemic, but it’s obviously happening more now.” He has been able to stay focused by learning as much as he can by tak- ing online lessons at home with learning bluegrass music. “I’m trying to fill my time up with moving myself forward personally as


an artist,”he said. “We all have our off days.There’s moments when it’s harder to focus.But


so far, I’ve been pretty great at keeping a pretty regular work schedule even in lieu of actual paid work.” He said it’s not hard to get up for a virtual show because he can do them from his studio. His rock band’s tunes are inspired by Steve Earle, Neil Young and Bob


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