We're all getting used to a new reality as social distancing orders spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic continue. But for every frustrating day spent away from the things and people we love wears on, people are out there organizing new ways for us to stay entertained while doing some good. We've seen it in recent campaigns from local restaurants, we've seen it in the ways museums are adapting, we've seen it in how young actors wind up donating to Santa Fe organizations—and we've seen it in the new livestreamed virtual concerts taking over Facebook, Instagram and Twitch.
And now there's a new kid on the block.
"We as a company decided on Tuesday last week that we all wanted to do something for Santa Fe," Hutton Broadcasting owner and general manager Scott Hutton tells SFR, "that we were all kind of hurting, that we wanted something positive to put our energy into—so we came up with Band Together."
Like other livestreamed events, Band Together brings concerts from musicians right into your living room via whatever device you use to log online. The difference, however, is that Hutton's ongoing "festival" (I feel OK calling it a festival, really) was put together on a volunteer basis, will run for the next several weeks at least and the proceeds raised through the series will go to one of three local organizations:
Putting together the series has apparently been fairly easy, according to program director for KBAC 98.1 FM, Chris Distler.
"We've been pretty overwhelmed with the response we've been getting," he says of musicians volunteering to donate performances. "When we first put out there word last week, there was just a ton of artists—and not just locals, but national artists are wanting to get in on this, too. Everybody just wanted to do something to help, and it's been a little like juggling cats, but we're going to have a whole lot of talent lined up to raise money."
Diestler says this includes the folky stylings with which Santa Feans are no doubt familiar, as well as Spanish artists, DJs, hip-hop, classical, jazz and, quite awesomely, Bonnie "Prince" Billy himself, Will Oldham (who is just the best). A complete list of artists has not yet been announced, but given the ongoing nature of Band Together, there's still plenty more to come.
"It's music across the board," Diestler says.
So how does it work and how can you watch? Simply visit Hutton-run santafe.com starting today and follow the signs.
"The santafe.com events calendar is turning into a virtual events calendar," Hutton explains. "We'll populate the calendar with the [Band Together] performances and the business offers."
Those offers include local restaurants, such as Joe's Diner, The Pantry, The Teahouse and others that will either donate a percentage of a certain day's sales to the aforementioned nonprofits, or simply donate cash, as well as others like High Desert Angler, Agua Fria Nursery and Absolute Flooring which will do the same.
As for the series, Diestler says it'll be worth staying up-to-date with, and that Hutton Broadcasting is prepared to keep it going as long as there's a need.
"We had a DJ from the UK looking for dates in June," he tells SFR with a laugh. "Hopefully we won't still need to be doing it then, but as long as people are on lockdown, we want to do it for them."
"What these organizations are doing right now is just so above and beyond the call in today's environment," Hutton adds. "We want to help them as long as they have the need."
Interested in donating a performance? Contact Hutton Broadcasting at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit facebook.com/SantaFeCom.