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Live From Out There puts the concert on the couch; proceeds aid musicians impacted by coronavirus

Six-week, subscription-based series features content from bands, comedians, chefs and more

Twiddle, photographed in San Francisco on July 23, 2019, is one of the bands participating in 11E1even Group’s Live From Out There series, running through April 26, available on nugs.tv. (Jay Blakesberg/Courtesy photo)
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As the days of social distancing stack up, like the Pringles you panic-purchased during this pandemic, the need for entertainment and connection still remains high. With the news of thousands of concerts being called off and major festivals, like Bonnaroo being postponed and Firefly being canceled, many fans are seeking out “couch tours,” — where they can still enjoy jams while being sequestered. Denver-based 11E1even Group’s Live From Out There officially launched on March 20 and has raised the bar when it comes to virtual programming.

Oteil Burbridge, of Dead & Company, is one of the musicians participating in 11E1even Group’s livestream series, Live From Out There, that runs through April 26 on nugs.tv. (Jay Blakesberg/ Courtesy photo)

The six-week series, running through April 26, features fresh and archival content from an array of musicians, stand-up sessions by comedians, masterclasses and even cooking segments from renowned chefs.  Previous streams have already featured Sunsquabi, Tauk, Magic Beans, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Cory Wong and Kitchen Dwellers, among others.  Earlier this month, pianist Holly Bowling played covers by Phish, Radiohead and the Grateful Dead from her living room in San Francisco. In the coming weeks, fans can expect to see Oteil Burbridge, of Dead & Company, Marc Brownstein, of the Disco Biscuits, and Andy Frasco without ever having to leave the comfort of their dwellings. Goose is slated to eventually play a Nirvana tribute.

Programming can be purchased individually or as a full series for $49.99 through nugs.tv. Donations from subscriptions will go directly to Sweet Relief’s COVID-19 Fund that provides immediate assistance to musicians and music industry workers facing financial strain due to cancellations or medical expenses.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is one of the bands participating in the livestream series, Live From Out There. (Dave DeCrescente/Courtesy photo)

We caught up with the owner of 11E1even Group, Ben Baruch — former talent buyer for the Fox Theatre and Boulder Theater — to find out what folks can expect from the latest virtual offering in the coming weeks, the importance of music during uncertain times and how musicians are utilizing technology to forge a new intimate frontier in the face of call-offs.

Daily Camera: Love the entire concept of “Live From Out There.” Y’all pulled this together so quickly. What’s the process been like organizing this so fast and what would you say is your ultimate goal for the series?

Ben Baruch: It’s been amazing in every way. The minute our clients’ tours and tours along the country started canceling, I felt this was the only way to keep things going for artists and fans. We created the plan and platform in 24 hours, partnered with a great organization, Sweet Relief, to help artists and crew in need and just started booking acts in the similar fashion that I would do when I book my tradition festivals. Ultimate goals here are to raise as much money as we can for all artists and crew members effected by COVID-19, keep morale high so artists can continue making music and interact with their fans and give fans something to look forward to each week from their favorite artists. We started with many bands on our roster because we knew that we could work fast on getting them in to record new content either at their homes, studios and local venues for us to receive a finished product by our launch.

DC: How was the first weekend? How are subscription sales going?

BB: First weekend was incredible. We are approaching 2,000 subscriptions and over 2,500 unique pay-per-view subscriptions for specific shows.

DC: What’s feedback been like from both fans and participating musicians?

BB: The feedback has been really incredible from all sides.

DC:  I know that in addition to music, you are quite a fan of the culinary arts. What can we expect food-wise on the channel?

BB: Well, since food and eating in general is just as much a part of my life as music, and being that it’s not just musicians that are getting crushed by everything going on, my vision for this network has always been to create curated content that would include music, cooking, comedians and truly anything that we feel fans will enjoy watching. They all go hand in hand, and the more great content that we can provide, the better for everyone involved.

DC: Besides the shows in this series, are there any virtual ones you plan on tuning in to? I hear Dead and Co. is doing a “One More Saturday Night” weekly couch tour stream.

BB: I think, like most during these times, we will all be consuming as much music as possible. Whether that be just audio or great concerts being aired as well. I manage Oteil Burbridge, who is in Dead and Co., I listen and watch the Dead daily, so yes, I will 100% be tuning in.

DC: Lastly, I know this whole coronavirus debacle is currently taking a toll on the whole industry. What are some other ways folks can support musicians, PR folks and behind-the-scenes workers right now?

BB: From what I’m watching, because of everything going on, musicians are pushing themselves to create and be innovative in ways they never had to in the past through everyday platforms and technology. The technology has always been out there, but they weren’t forced to learn all aspects or use it as regularly as they are currently to stay creative and reach their fanbase in new and exciting ways and on a more consistent basis. We can support the musicians by tuning in to these livestreams, support what they are doing and donate through links that are providing the streams. Many of these donations that musicians are receiving go to their crew as well to help keep their entire organization alive. Sweet Relief is an incredible organization that is providing immediate assistance through their donor-directed fund to be used specifically for musicians and music industry workers affected by the coronavirus. Funds raised will go towards medical expenses, lodging, clothing, food and other vital living expenses to those impacted due to sickness or loss of work.


Live From Out There virtual concert series

*More to be added, check here

Friday

Aqueous liveGoose liveCycles live

Saturday

Goose (Archival)Magic Beans livePigeons liveSunsquabi live

Sunday

Holly Bowling liveKitchen Dwellers (may be live or archival)Twiddle live

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