For those of you who are fans of a certain 90s sitcom, I’m sure you heard Ross in your head when you read that title. “pivot, PIvot! PIVOT!” For those of you in the business game, you probably have a different reference for the word.
In the world of business start-ups, pivoting refers to shifting your strategy in order to improve your odds of success in a business. From shifting your target demographic to adjusting your products or services, there are several big and little ways companies sometimes have to adapt to keep growing.
Unfortunately, as musicians and fans, the model we have been using for decades (maybe centuries) has been interrupted. While the changes we are seeing may be temporary, creatives are having to, well, get creative with how they are putting out their art for now.
The biggest change has been a move to livestreams and videos as a means of connecting with audiences. Now that venues are beginning to open up again, there are other adjustments, as well. Face masks are de rigueur these days, and with good reason. Many vocalists, in particular, are weighing singing with or without. Michael Braz, like many other artists, is sitting in on other artists’ live streams, social distancing on stage, and wearing masks during rehearsals.
Venues are making adjustments to allow for more distance between the bands and the audience.
But with all of these adjustments, many are making one significant pivot. When I asked local musicians what adjustments they are making, Jake Hallman (a.k.a. The Reverend) spoke for most of us when he said “Adjusting to not playing anymore.” He’s only somewhat joking. A lot of us are simply missing creating and sharing our music.
Local venues that were staples for live music have been faithful to musicians and fans, but there is a lot of pivoting going on everywhere. In the next few months, we will see how musicians continue to adapt and adjust. The hope, I think, for all of us is that the world moves on from this and can reach a state of normal again soon. It’s really critical for our artists, gig workers, arts centers, and small businesses.
In the meantime, we are fortunate to be in the digital age where connecting with artists is still possible, even with limited or non-existent face to face interactions. So, here’s your reminder to reach out to your favorite artists. Find them on the web and leave them a word of encouragement. Order some take out or visit your locally owned restaurants and music venues.
For my fellow musicians out there, hang in there. We’ll make it through this. If you’re a local musician looking for ideas and community, find us at Statesboro Musicians Guild on Facebook. Until the world gets back to normal, keep your chins up and your calluses strong. The world still needs you — and your fans still love you.
Brandi Harvey wasn’t born in Statesboro, but, as the old saying goes, she got here as quickly as she could. Since her return, she has invested herself more day by day in the community, particularly in the arts and music scene. She’s a singer/songwriter herself, and has a passion for the local music scene and its players. She is also the proud mother of three daughters who are just as talented as she is in their own areas of interest. Together, they live with their two cats.