Demi Lovato and Marshmello, Finneas and YG performed sets at empty venues in Los Angeles to mark the first day of the Save Our Stages Festival (#SOSFest), a three-day virtual event in support of the National Independent Venue Association’s (NIVA).
Prior to their performance, Marshmello and Lovato discussed the urgent situation facing independent music venues during the coronavirus pandemic. “Ninety percent of [the venues] are at risk of shutting down within the next three months,” Marshmello said. Lovato added, “I know personally, I found music at independent stages. One in particular, the Door in Dallas. I saw Paramore there, I remember it being so influential to my artistry growing up. Marshmello and Lovato then delivered their collaborative single “OK Not to Be OK.”
Additionally, Compton rapper YG played a 20-minute set from the Troubadour that focused on his recently released LP My Life 4Hunnid. From Los Angeles’ Teragram Ballroom, Finneas performed an eight-song set that featured the live debut of his new song “What They’ll Say About Us,” which he dedicated to the family of actor Nick Cordero, who died of complications related to Covid-19:
Other sets Friday included Bay Area rapper G-Eazy performing at San Francisco’s The Independent, Seattle rapper Macklemore at the city’s Neumos. On Saturday, #SOSFest will present exclusive sets by Foo Fighters and Phoebe Bridgers at the Troubadour, Miley Cyrus from the Whisky A Go-Go, Brittany Howard at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, the Roots at New York’s Apollo Theatre and more. Check out the #SOSFest site for the full rundown.
“During this shutdown, all the uncertainties we have and are experiencing have been very unnerving and have caused a high level of despair,” Christine Karayan, the owner of Troubadour in Los Angeles, said in a statement. “That is why we are so happy and beyond grateful to all the fans and music community for banding together to help and to show their support and love to all the independent venues across the country. This is our light and hope in our time of darkness.”