Tuesday, April 14, 2020 / by Ken Couture
Hundreds of Las Vegas musicians and entertainers are turning to the internet to continue performing, and hope viewers will leave a little financial help in their virtual tip jars.
According to John Windsor, a fixture at Irish Pubs around the valley, “a lot of them are doing what I'm also doing, doing the live show on the internet, on Facebook, that sort of thing. And, you can put up a virtual tip jar. You can earn a few bucks with a little bit of luck. A lot of people are resorting to that now.”
Windsor says his colleagues aren’t pulling down the huge salaries like the headliners on the Strip.
Instead, they’re the musicians who help make those shows successful or the performers who entertain tourists and locals alike, at the hundreds of bars around Las Vegas. “We're nobody famous. There are guitar players, and keyboard players, and singers who back the big shows in town, and people like me that play the local bars.”
Windsor, 67, says he’s doing okay financially because he was able to put away some money earlier in his career when he was working 6 nights and 3 afternoons a week. But, he knows that’s not necessarily the case with other performers, especially those with families. “A lot of us are hand to mouth. You've got musicians and their families I know personally. The families with kids and all of the sudden their wages stopped instantly on one day. Boom,” Windsor said.
Windsor says he’s optimistic the Las Vegas marketing machine will kick into high gear soon, and steps will be taken to bring tourists back as quickly as possible, once the coronavirus restrictions are finally lifted.
“Vegas, we do have that great edge. modern Vegas understands the internet, understands the power of getting out there on social media,” he said. But, he also believes things will be different for a while. “A lot of people, their lives are going to change I think. It'll take a long time to get back to where we were. This is a huge rolling ball of a machine, whatever you want to call it, Las Vegas, and it'll take a long time for it to get back up to speed, in my opinion.”
Windsor hopes followers will continue to support local musicians on social media and the internet, and help them make ends meet by remembering to look on the screen for the virtual tip jar.
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