Charlotte New Music Festival moves online with Tuesday open-mic nights

Posted on: April 20, 2020

“The founder of Charlotte New Music Festival, who says ‘I hate to cancel anything,’ has arranged for her groundbreaking festival to take place off the ground June 15-27,” writes Lawrence Toppman in Wednesday’s (4/15) Charlotte Observer (N.C.). “Elizabeth Kowalski began a monthly open mic event this winter, using the slogan ‘classical to contemporary and beyond,’ to give her organization a year-round presence. She never guessed it would become the template for the entire festival. [After] the coronavirus clamped down on traditional performances … she immediately changed to online open mic nights … on CNMF’s Facebook page…. Kowalski has resolved to do a live online open-mic gig each Tuesday, building up to the festival. She started March 24 by inviting musicians she knew; she has now started to receive requests from strangers to play…. Kowalski has … a sound check at 7 p.m. and starts letting customers into the Zoom meeting around 8 p.m.… What will happen this June remains to be determined…. ‘Will they play live in an empty venue, keeping a distance from each other? Will we have watch parties? We may discover online components we can use next year, when we have a live festival again.’ ”