COVID reflections from the head honcho
Hi everyone. Ryan G here.
I haven’t really prepared anything, but I’ve read a few things, soaked up a lot, and felt like speaking from the heart for a second on this pandemic business as it relates to Tuned Up.
The evening of March 11 and morning of March 12 were some of the hardest times of my career, with the cancellation of Steadfast Music Festival. Add to that my work at True Music Room was suddenly undone when hotel management decided to discontinue live music programming as we had set it up. And this is the longest period of time I’ve gone through without attending a live show since 2012. You might think “man, Ryan has every reason to be depressed.”
Yet, I’m not.
First and foremost, my faith has kept me grounded. But, I have to thank all of you—those I know and countless others that I don’t. Your support has not gone unnoticed. The texts, phone calls, social media comments… I appreciate all of it. And I have to thank you for your creativity! This period has been seriously unparalleled in terms of how I’ve seen people rise to occasion to keep the music alive. GoFundMe setups for venues. A virtual festival in Minecraft. A livestream called “Sleep Well” with peaceful piano music at the end of the day. A virtual festival that was so lit that Facebook unpublished the page because of spam (it wasn’t spam—the fans were just that passionate).
Let’s continue with this goodwill and creativity! People said when Trump was elected that a silver lining might be that some good protest music would come out of it. Let’s take it a step further—we have a reason that goes beyond political bickering (as important as the issues are) to be creative. I’m saying, let’s continue to press into each other (from a distance) and make lemons from this lemonade! I can’t wait for live music to return, and I see your frustration with not being able to attend shows or perform. But—let’s let compassion win. Instead of being angry that the government isn’t allowing people to perform in bars, let’s be compassionate toward the folks who are afraid of packing it in. Let’s continue to reach out in creative ways. Let’s support the small businesses and gatekeepers that allow each of us to pursue what we love. Buy some merch. Pick your favorite up and coming artist(s) and let the music stream on repeat overnight. Less snarky posts and more encouragement—I know I’ve certainly failed at this a lot these past few months, but I’ll keep trying.
Some conversations are being had about the future of Tuned Up. With this downtime, we are going to be more intentional about this community than ever before. I highly encourage you to take the dive into our community the Tuned Up Lounge—we’ve had some fun weekly calls on Zoom, and many folks have tuned in—some from outside of Ohio even. This break from live shows has given me the chance to take a leap of faith with this site, and I’m excited to see what happens. Look for some changes starting soon, including more consistent content, new ideas for posts and social media engagement, and eventually freshening up the website. We want to make ourselves available via growth to support the artists that need it now more than ever.
Here, we’re all about cultivating conversation in a down to earth way. Whether an act has 5 fans or 5 million, both are equally worthy of exploration—music is music is music. We will give you our opinion, but don’t treat it as gospel. Explore it and probe it for yourself.
Be sure to hang on for the ride on our socials: @tunedupmusic on Instagram, Twitter, and Tik Tok, and @iamtunedup on Facebook. Request access to the Tuned Up Lounge here. We’ve had some fun conversations there.
Stay safe. Keep the faith. Tell us about your new favorite band.