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Arts & Culture

San Antonio Airport Continues Live Music Series With Streamed Concerts

As the world of live music has been shut down due to shelter-in-place, there are no venues for local musicians to play. But there’s one place that’s encouraging live performance to continue. And it’s from a place you might not expect: the San Antonio International Airport.

Arts and Culture Manager Matt Evans explained that, though perhaps unexpected, airports and live music mix. 

"Part of our programming here at the airport is an initiative known as SAT Live. And it's a performing arts series that's featured throughout the airport," he said.

Musicians played gigs in pop-up locations as people waited for their flights. That program is on hiatus due to social distancing and the massive dropoff of travelers going to the airport.

"We had to put a suspension on some of our programming, and that included our musicians,” Evans said. “Their whole industry, their whole source of their income, all of their work disappeared overnight."

He thinks that because people’s norms have been jostled, there may be an opportunity that didn’t before exist.

"Since we're all stuck at home right now, you have a unique opportunity to hear a whole wide variety of musicians that are here, local in your city, that you might not have been able to get to otherwise," he said.

They have created what's called the SAT Live-Stream Concert Series. The concerts are from artists who played the original performing arts series at the airport and are scheduling live streamed performances at varying times throughout the day.

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"A lot of musicians have taken to doing live streams through their Facebooks or their YouTube. And in doing so we hope to drive more attention to these folks," he said.

The news isn't all good — the artists aren’t paid for these streamed concerts.

"But certainly when things start to rebound, we can't wait to get ’em back and start booking gigs regularly at the airport," Evans said.

He noted that during those live-streamed performances, artists can point to their own portals to encourage giving.

"If folks feel like leaving a tip they are encouraged to do so, but there is no obligation," he said.

There is a huge variety of music, running the gamut from jazz to country to classical to blues to acoustic guitar.

“We have 39 artists here at the airport. All of those artists are performing at least once throughout the month," he said.

Jack Morgan can be reached at Jack@TPR.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii.

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