All music gigs are gone until at least June, according to the Founder and Managing Director of GizaGig Cathal Dolan who believes that it could well be August before demand for his business, which organises gigs for outlets around the country, is back.
In the meantime, he still managed to become involved in a paying gig recently despite lockdown across the globe.
“I myself play a lot out in Germany” he tells Drinks Industry Ireland, “once, twice or three times a month – but with the Coronavirus these gigs were all cancelled.”
However Easter Sunday found him playing for the good folks of Bad Neuenahr, one of the wine producing areas south of Bonn, part of a private gig on Zoom hosted by Peter Kriechel of the Weingut winery there who’d put together a music, wine-tasting and entertainment package for Easter Sunday: six bottles of wine and a private gig including a wine-tasting class for purchasers.
“Anyone who bought the packages had them delivered and were given a code to access the gig on Sunday evening via Zoom Meetings,” explains Cathal, “It was a mix of me singing and Peter Kriechel doing a wine-tasting while acting as MC and ‘tech-guy’. Guests requested songs and asked questions about the wines. It was great fun and a wonderful experience.”
Rather than agree a flat fee, Cathal and the vineyard-owner worked it out on a “per sale” percentage basis where Cahal got a cut of each pack sold so there was no risk for anyone.
Peter Kriechel gave tasting notes on all six wines as well as a gin to those who’d bought the package and Cathal sang a couple of wine-related songs in between the six wine tastings.
“The whole thing took about an hour-and-a-half and everybody enjoyed it,” says Cathal.
“I think it’s something that a lot of microbreweries, distillers, restaurants and bars here could try – provided they do deliveries,” says Cathal, “While it’ll never make anyone a fortune, it’s an opportunity for some revenue (and a distraction) for both the businesses and the musicians they work with.
“The gig I did sold 38 packs at €40 each – not a bad turnover for a Sunday evening sitting at home!
“This isn’t a money-making idea for myself,” he continues, “I envisage businesses using musicians that have been loyal to them in the past. I just think it’s a good idea that could help some people who’re really struggling.”
Cathal donated his portion of the takings to the local town council there which is running a marketing campaign to promote local pubs, restaurants and vineyards in trying to help keep them alive.
“This region is dependent on the hospitality industry more than anything else and they’re really struggling,” he says.
Like a lot of musicians Cathal also does a regular online performance from his facebook page which he also streams directly onto a few pub pages here.
“It helps keep those pages relevant because they have fresh content and it helps keep the pubs associated with live music,” he explains.