Closing of bars limits opportunities for Abilene musicians

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Musicians, bands, and DJs are used to performing in front of live audiences. With bars shutting down again due to the pandemic, those artists will have even fewer opportunities to perform in person.

“I’m missing it! You don’t get to play no more,” said Abilene musician Yan Hartman.

While under the looming threat of COVID-19, live performances have been few and are between. According to Yan Hartman, his band has not performed in person since St. Patrick’s Day.

“It was a very large crowd there and we were worried about it then to be honest with you. We didn’t know if we should play it or not, and right after that, everything shut down in the state,” said Hartman.

Yan Hartman says he has been taking extra precautions, because he has a medical condition which makes him more susceptible to the coronavirus.

“I have a disease called Behcet’s, which effects your skin and it can go into your lungs, and remove the lining from your lungs. This disease would definitely have a horrible effect on me,” said Hartman.

According to Abilene musician Eric Logan, some bands have been streaming their performances online, while using apps like Venmo and Cash App to accept donations.

“If you’re going to stop in and you’re going to listen to a musician online, if everybody could afford to tip a dollar, it would go a long way in helping our music industry in the state of Texas to survive,” said Abilene musician Eric Logan.

Eric Logan says musicians and DJs will continue to feel the economic impact of COVID-19, until things get back to normal.

“Until things really get back to 100% capacity, and we see an end to COVID, hopefully one of these days, it will remain a very challenging aspect for musicians and DJs around the state,” said Eric Logan.

According to the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau, the local economy has lost $12 million from the cancellations of meetings and events due to the pandemic.


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