Organized by locals, 'Sofa King Fest' fights pandemic fallout with virtual music

11:19 March 20, 2020
By: Kim Ranjbar

In New Orleans, music is the rhythm by which we live our lives. From the buskers making us dance through the French Quarter to the school bands practicing in our streets, there's always a melody or a beat to move us forward, bring a smile to our faces and get us through the day.

Like other cities across the globe, our state and local governments have taken action to slow the spread, or "flatten the curve," of COVID-19 by shutting down bars, restaurants (take-out and delivery only), and entertainment venues. Our huge festival season that was just getting started has been postponed or canceled altogether 'til next year, and even after only one week of social distancing, we're sorely feeling the lack.

Enter Travis Laurendine, Nicki Gilbert and Reid Martin, three locals who have launched Sofa King Fest, "an emergency response online music and arts festival and directory aimed to minimize your COVID-19 quarantine boredom." Essentially, it's an online platform to raise money for artists and other folks in the industry who have been affected by the pandemic. Sofa King Fest is live-streaming intimate performances by artists who, like all of us, are also stuck at home.

Dubbed "your one-stop source for all your couch-streaming concert options," this virtual venue is offering a "main stage" experience featuring artists across genres including a live music festival grid (I didn't say cube, did you say cube?) showcasing streaming sets from all over the world. All of the proceeds raised through Sofa King Fest will go directly to the artists, or the charity of their choosing.

Visit for more information, to donate or participate, or ... grab a cold one from the fridge, kick back and enjoy.

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