Pete Kilpatrick Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

As music venues cancel shows as a result of coronavirus, local musicians who rely on those gigs for their income have been left wondering how to cover their living expenses. When Pete Kilpatrick decided to hold a virtual performance, he didn’t realize how much it would pay off.

The longtime local acoustic-pop rock musician who fronts the Pete Kilpatrick Band had seven upcoming shows in four states canceled. When he posted about these cancellations on the band’s Facebook page, a few people commented with the suggestion that he play a virtual one. Kilpatrick liked the idea and announced a solo acoustic show, which he played from his home in Brunswick Saturday night.

“I kind of decided at the last minute to do something and I ended up performing for about an hour and a half for around 200 people. I think it was a nice break for everyone from what’s going on,” said Kilpatrick, who received many positive comments during the stream while performing a mix of covers and originals, including some requests. “My fifth grade teacher commented during it and other people who I hadn’t heard from in a long time came out of the woodwork, it was a real silver lining.”

Pete Kilpatrick Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

Not only was the show a spirit-lifter for Kilpatrick and his fans, it also put money in the bank.  Kilpatrick set up a virtual tip jar through PayPal and Venmo at the request of a listener and, much to his surprise, made more than $500 on tips. “That was definitely unexpected, and it certainly helped ease the blow of doing this music thing full time and having my shows all canceled,” said Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick estimated that he earns about 80 percent of his income as a musician from live shows.

You can catch another Kilpatrick performance, which he’s calling “Live from the Green Room,” this Saturday. “I’m doing it solo in the music room of my house which is conveniently painted green,” he said. And he wants people to know that a donation is by no means required. “Based on everyone’s current 401K siuation, please feel free to watch the show on me,” he said in the post about the first virtual show.

As for supporting other local acts, I offer these suggestions:

  1. Keep taps on their social media pages for announcements about virtual performances.
  2. Head to their websites and order some merchandise. There are some great shirts, hats and tons of other cool swag out there. Case in point, the 2012 Pete Kilpatrick band “Heavy Fire” is available on vinyl.
  3. If they post a new song or video, let them know you love it by  “liking” the post, commenting on it and sharing it.
  4. When acts are able to once again play out live, go see them.

Pete Kilpatrick Virtual House Concert
8 p.m. Saturday. Via Facebook Live on the Pete Kilpatrick Band Page,

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