Virtual concert to raise money for musicians impacted by COVID-19 precautions

Posted at 8:19 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 00:00:01-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Precautions surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak has caused Nashville musicians to lose gigs and thousands of dollars in income, but now some help may be coming from a colleague.

As venues close and tours are canceled, many don't know when relief will come.

Ben Andrews, who is a drummer and percussionist, organized the Corona Concert No. 1.

“I got a text from a friend saying is there anything I can do to help?” said Andrews. “This can be a way.”

The virtual show will feature around 15 local musicians from different genres.

“We have a marimba and violin duo, we have a couple of singer songwriters, and we have a band that is covering Jimi Hendrix tunes,” said Andrews. “Expect a really nice mix of music that Nashville has to offer.”

All the musicians will perform in Ben’s basement, and it will be broadcast online through Facebook live.

“We have never really done this before,” said Deena Rizkalla, a musician who will be performing. “We are curious to see how it comes across.”

Andrews said he has personally lost thousands of dollars due to canceled gigs and knows many others are in the same situation.

“We don’t want a month, or two months with no income for musicians,” said Rizkalla. “This is impacting a lot of people.”

Andrews hopes the show will also spread some much-needed comfort to viewers during a difficult time.

“In a world of isolation, it can bring the community together,” said Andrews. “I hope everyone who is involved has a warm sense of satisfaction and joy they are providing something really valuable to the community.”

The concert will be Mar. 18 from 7-8:30 p.m. Visit the Corona Concert Facebook event page to watch the concert. Donations can also be made on this gofundme page.

The goal is to raise $10,000. Andrews estimates this is about half of the money the participating musicians have lost since the COVID-19 outbreak started.

If the effort is successful, Andrews hoped to make virtual concerts a weekly event.


See all our coronavirus coverage here


What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.


The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.