How DNA Lounge Is Keeping Sf Weird During The Pandemic:
The DNA Lounge webcast -- dnalounge.com/webcast/ -- has, for nearly 20 years, been piping audio and video of its live events onto the internet. Now, under the direction of general manager Devon Dossett, and with crews of dedicated producers, promoters, performers and techs, the club has significantly upgraded its webcast technology, and has transformed itself into a de facto television studio, for broadcasting live events from its stage to the world. [...]
Events so far have included live variety shows, projection-mapping artists, DJ parties with full club lighting and go-go dancers, and even an appearance by EDM luminary Shlump, on his way to perform at an outdoor, drive-in rave in Colorado. [...]
Hopefully better Federal leadership and real solutions will come soon, and we'll be able to return to live shows and live gatherings before it's too late for local venues and local live entertainment. In the meantime, DNA Lounge, and all its partners, are doing what they can to keep San Francisco's independent, non-corporate entertainment business alive and viable for the Bay Area's future.
SF Weekly spoke to a number of venues, including us, about our disparate, desperate efforts:
Trials & Innovations: Live Music During COVID-19.
Socially distanced shows, live streams, and new tech won't be enough.
Instead of going outdoors, DNA Lounge has responded to the pandemic by going online. Ever since reopening in 2001, DNA Lounge has made live-streaming events online a major part of the club's identity. [...] A little less than a week after the Red Room Orchestra played the Chapel, the DNA held their own music event: a quasi-live performance by chiptune and electronic band Crashfaster in which half the band filmed themselves playing, and then the other half performed over that prerecorded video. "They even had a friend of theirs record a performance of some laser equipment," Dossett says, a testament to the kind of creative thinking artists are putting into practice these days. [...]
However, as with the Red Room Orchestra show at the Chapel, Dossett says DNA's currently scheduled events aren't really about making money. It's just an attempt to keep nightlife alive during the pandemic. Live music, he says, is "vital to people's emotional wellbeing." [...]
The reality for musicians and venues alike, is that until touring returns -- until venues can open to full capacity and it is possible for bands to safely travel the country again -- both are going to be hurting. Badly. [...]
Back in June, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) estimated that 90 percent of America's independent venues were likely to close during lockdown due to lost revenue. In July, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D) and John Cornyn (R) introduced to the Senate the Save Our Stages act (S. 4258). If passed, the bill would authorize up to $12 billion in grants for venues and industry workers from the Small Business Administration.
And The Examiner, as well:
SF clubs mix things up to avoid a last call Proprietors get creative with money-raising efforts during pandemic
"None of this is even remotely sustainable," says Zawinski. "So, like every other nightlife-related business, we're all just sitting here watching the clock tick and waiting for the money to run out." [...]
Club owners and managers all hang varying degrees of hope on the local Independent Venue Alliance, which represents and educates a group of over 20 mostly closed nightlife venues on state and federal funding initiatives. [...] But with little financial assistance from the government thus far or any clear-cut timeline as to when bars and clubs will be allowed to fully reopen, many remain forced to rely on limited patronage and donations from longtime customers.
As always, if you want to ensure that DNA Lounge will still be here for you once the pandemic is over, contribute to our Patreon or make a one-time donation. And buying some pizza or cocktails helps, too!