When it comes to origin stories, The Rocky Mountain Virtual Music Festival has what might be the shortest one ever. It only took three days for founders Sarah Shuel and Alyssa Montaño to go from from coronavirus-induced despair to 12 hours of live-streamed music and art by a variety of local, regional and national artists. In just a few days more, they had also secured a strategic sponsorship with Colorado’s Arise Music Festival, bringing even more artists and interest from around the world.
We’ve been excited to help out the fest with artwork and graphics, but mostly, we’re just their biggest fans.
How It Began
Colorado funk band Float Like a Buffalo kicked off their Spring tour with two dates in southwest Colorado on March 11 and 12. Unfortunately, that was the same time COVID-19 hit the U.S. hard, shutting down public gatherings across the nation. As band manager, Sarah had spent over eight months scheduling and planning for the 7-piece band to tour through Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Missouri, Louisiana, Nebraska, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida. With all that indefinitely paused, Sarah was quick to realize that every other band and artist was in the same situation. There had to be a way they could all work together through this challenging time. Sarah called her friend Alyssa and floated (ha!) the idea of a virtual music festival. With that, RMVMF was born.
The following Friday, they launched – streaming live music and visual artists from 10am to 10:15pm, garnering thousands of views through the day. It was clear that a newly confined public was ready to try a virtual festival where they could log in, maintain the CDC’s self-distancing requirements, and still get a taste of live music. It was also a much needed boost for performers who can earn tips through virtual “tip jars,” using platforms like Venmo and PayPal. The virtual festival was an immediate hit with performers and music lovers. This flash of excitement caught the attention of Colorado’s Arise Music Festival and a they started working together to bring even more support and interested artists to the online festival.
Every Friday Until We’re Free
Since then, the Rocky Mountain Virtual Music Festival has been covered by local and national press, and their momentum and audience continues to grow. The festival will continue every Friday until the restrictions are lifted, pulling from an ever-expanding list of artists (sign up here).
Another thing that makes RMVMF special? The name says it all. A focus on local artists from Colorado. Here are just a few who have shared the virtual spotlight thus far:
- Andy Sydow
- Float Like a Buffalo
- Silver and Smoke
- Sarah Slaton
- Dog City Disco
- Rob Drabkin
- Graham Good & The Painters
- Sixty Minute Men
- Birds of Prey
- Josh Forster
- And many more!
Find out more about The Rocky Mountain Virtual Music Festival and follow them on Facebook for the most recent announcements and updates.
P.S. Check out our other posts about the local music scene!