Driveway musicians, pedal-powered performers keep music alive in Calgary
CALGARY -- As events and festivals have cancelled to curb the spread of COVID-19, an emerging creative solution is bringing music to the curbs of Calgary residents.
Matt Masters launched “Curbside Concerts” where he performs atop a mini-van (affixed with guardrails) parked at the end of a driveway.
The audience becomes the neighbourhood wherever he has booked a gig.
“People still need music and they can’t go to the places they used to go to enjoy music, so (with) curbside concerts (I have) figured out a way to safely bring music to people,” Masters said.
Just under a week since he launched, Masters believes the private bookings will help sustain him and his family, as he is already booked available time slots through June.
Masters says there could be a shift in the music industry amid the pandemic.
“Music is going to change because our venues have closed for the time being, mass gatherings don’t exist, venues don’t exist.”
“Music still exists though. People still need music but we can’t deliver in a way that isn’t safe.”
Solita Work and Gerald Wheatley offer a free, a pedal-powered performance on wheels to boost the spirits of Calgary’s urban residents. They plan to tour through the core on Sunday afternoon if weather conditions allow over the course of the pandemic.
For Calgary residents without a driveway, a pair of local business-owners are performing on a pedal-powered stage called the “Covid Caravan” which rolls through neighbourhoods such as the Beltline, the East Village and Sunalta.
It’s essentially a bicycle pulling a wagon, which itself holds a stationary bike that uses pedals to power a speaker.
To top it off, the musician pedals all while singing and playing guitar.
The intent is to spread joy through Calgary’s core communities.
“A lot of people are feeling a little bit worried and isolated and this is way that we are really trying to celebrate community that everyone is being really responsible,” said performer Gerald Wheatley.
The “Covid Caravan” will tour through Calgary’s cycle track network on Sunday afternoons weather depending, and is not available for on-demand bookings at this time.