SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -With bars and clubs closed, local entertainment options are limited and local entertainers are feeling it as well.
The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra is one local group that has come up with their own work-from-home option to keep reaching their fans.
“It’s catastrophic,” says Jeremy Davis of the Equinox Orchestra. "Everything that we have, we have tours canceled, we have corporate gatherings canceled, we have events overseas, we have stuff all over and all of it is canceled for the next two or three months.
Before most people could pronounce coronavirus, it had a pronounced effect on the band, leading to dozens of shows canceled in the first days.
“All of our work is gone,” Davis says. “We can’t do the things we’re really good at. There’s got to be something that we can do.”
So, rather than going dark, they went in a new direction, taking them directly into people’s homes.
“Just tried it out,” said orchestra member Clay Johnson. “Went online, went on Facebook Monday night and wound up having thousands of people tune in to watch. It was overwhelming. They were so supportive, it was wonderful.”
The Equinox guys turned to one of the few options available for performers right now: a virtual concert. They play live in front of only cameras and the audience is whoever signs on to stream the show in real-time.
“Yeah, it’s cool because we get to, it’s informal, people like that, people like to hear stories,” said Davis. They like to hear about us and our musicians. So, we’re kind of making the best of it."
“And you know what’s different is, whenever we finish a big song with a big ending, it’s just like whaaaa bamp," notes Johnson. "No applause, which is a little different.”
Artists everywhere have turned to virtual concerts, from John Legend to Dropkick Murphy’s.
For Equinox, it’s not only a way to stay active, but it’s also a way to provide a paycheck for professional musicians who might live gig to gig.
“They’re all contracted employees,” says Johnson. “They’re contracted musicians. So, if they don’t play, they don’t get paid, obviously.”
“We set up a really cool link where people can buy a virtual ticket,” says Davis. “It’s free, nobody has to do it. But people who have the means, who want to buy a ticket - they want to buy a front-row ticket, they want to buy VIP access, or they want to buy the cheap seats, that’s ok. Because, honestly, we made enough money to pay our guys like a normal show and pay them for the next one.”
And there will be a next one. This Monday night on Facebook when the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra is doing what they do for their fans, for their band and for themselves.
“We want to be people who encourage people, who inspire people, that on the other side of this,” says Johnson. “Come out with a great story to tell and are people who did good while we’re in this crazy time.”