AUSTIN, Texas - Texas's music industry has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and Austin, known as the “live music capital of the world,” has experienced severe restrictions on live performances.
On Monday, the Texas Music Office and Hear Fort Worth will co-host the Sounds and Cities Conference, a free virtual conference to discuss the future of Texas’ music industry.
“I think that just having the human connection if you’re an artist is an integral part of your career,” explained Deryk Camazine, co-founder of LOCKNKEY Music Group. “If you don’t have that, it’s very difficult to get things off the ground if you’re a developing artist. If you are a more established artist, playing shows, touring and merchandise combined is probably 70 to 80 percent of the revenue that you’re making.”
Many of Austin’s iconic venues have closed their doors since the pandemic began. That list includes Threadgills, Shady Grove, and Barracuda.
“As just part of Austin’s culture, those venues are essential,” said Camazine.
Still, Mo Elias, Camazine’s partner at LOCKNKEY, says the pandemic has been a period of growth for artists who have been forced to pivot and perform virtually.
“They’re the camera guy, they’re their own sound engineer, they’re lighting, they’re everything. So I think people are gaining some really important skills,” he said.
Texas Music Office director Brendan Anthony says Monday’s conference will be an opportunity for government officials and industry actors to share what they feel has worked to aide musicians and venues. It will also be a discussion about what changes local, state, and federal government entities can make moving forward
“The bulk of the conference will be information shared from folks working on the front lines of this in our sector,” he explained.