HOLLAND, Mich. — Those staying in can now enjoy live concerts from West Michigan artists in the safety of their own homes. New Holland Brewing Company is hosting a virtual concert series to promote local talent and entertainment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Gezellig Virtual Concert Series will host local artists every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the foreseeable future. Shows will start at 7 p.m. and last between 30 and 40 minutes.
Concerts will be streamed to New Holland Brewing's Facebook page, where viewers can comment and communicate with the artists in real-time.
While cover isn't mandatory to enjoy the stream, donations are encouraged to support the musicians and the charity organizations they stand for.
"Maybe you’re not in a position where you can donate. We ask that you still go on and enjoy the concert as well. It’s just kind of a way to really help raise money for these artists that find themselves out of work right now," said New Holland Brand Manager Adam Dickerson.
Featured musicians can share links to their own donation platforms, such as Venmo, Cash App, Paypal, or a charity of their choosing. New Holland Brewing encourages viewers to donate a minimum of $5 to the artists to show their support.
Musician and singer for The Legal Immigrants, Joe Bockheim, said while the money is helpful, he's most excited for the opportunity to perform.
"I didn’t realize how big of a loss, a void I would feel, and I’ve only lost out on two or three shows so far, and it’s like man, what an outlet. What a release for my mental health," Bockheim said.
Gezellig is a Dutch word that loosely translates to a feeling of togetherness, and is commonly used to describe a social and relaxed environment with loved ones. New Holland Brewing said the word represents its mission.
"Our brand is very much rooted in bringing people together," Dickerson said, "...We try to think beyond beer and that we really are there to essentially inspire and bring joy into other people’s lives."
Dickerson said the idea for the concert series came amid the hardship that hit the hospitality industry, specifically restaurants and bars.
"The current situation has eliminated restaurants, pubs, and venues as viable sources of income for [musicians]. We're excited to announce the launch of the Gezellig Concert Series because we could all use some togetherness and good news," he explained.
With Michigan restaurants being shut down, New Holland Brewing has temporarily redesigned its content production to hand sanitizer to support the community's needs. Its locations are still open and available for pick-up or delivery of spirits, beer and food.
"Get yourself an order of pinwheels, a growler or Tangerine Space Machine, kick back and watch The Legal Immigrants [Wednesday] at 7 p.m., and you might as well be at the Knickerbocker," Dickerson said.
Other West Michigan organizations are also holding virtual events. Founders Brewing Company is hosting virtual open-mic nights every Tuesday at 8 p.m., and the Circle Theatre is hosting virtual concerts and fireside chats.
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