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CONCERTS FROM HOME, WITH MERCH

With the global concert industry at a halt, artists are redirecting their focus and adapting to the current music scene, much like superstar Melissa Etheridge, who was preparing to embark on tour shortly before the pandemic struck.

Despite having to offset the absence of touring, Etheridge, like many of her peers, is finding opportunity on the digital landscape. While the acclaimed singer/songwriter uses social platforms as a tool for live performances, it’s also become a place for something more intimate, “She gets to give something to her fans and it's not just the music,” says manager Deb Klein, pictured here in her lavishly appointed home office; Klein manages the award-winning artist (as well as Cypress Hill and Plain White T's) in partnership with Primary Wave. "It's all the little exchanges or interactions behind the scenes."

Etheridge has been creating Concerts From Home videos every day at 3pm PT on Facebook Live, with timely themes, tours of her home and troves of old lyrics. Given the composition of her fanbase, Klein notes, "Facebook is going to be where the most people will be able to see you all over the world without a paywall.” Fans are able to request songs or catch her singing material from her latest album, The Medicine Show.

While social media platforms can replace neither the energy nor the revenue of live music, they've opened new doors. In addition to Etheridge’s one-hour concert special From My Home to Yours on 4/29 (which drew 130k+ unique viewers and is now available on demand), she’s sold over 4k in #ConcertsFromHome merch including the "Quaran-Tee” and has launched a new weekly paid livestream, Love Series, with Q&As, virtual one-on-one meet and greets—two of which have already sold out—and a portion of proceeds supporting MusiCaresCovid-19 Relief Fund. Syncs have also seen an uptick as the demand for anthemic, uplifting songs grows. Etheridge, who owns her masters and whose wheelhouse is uplift, has already seen several major syncs, and the requests keep coming.

“We’re going to be out of work for longer than most other industries because we're in the large event gathering space,” shares Klein. And so while the industry continues to shift, artists, managers and their teams are pivoting to embrace the changing landscape—and doing everything possible to maintain that fan connection.

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