'Weird Stream-a-Thon' on today to help SXSW artists

Since the three-weeks long, massive South by Southwest music and cultural festival in Austin, Texas, was canceled for the first time in its history due to covid-19, help is on the way for the people who were depending on not only the festival gig but also the many offshoot gigs that come with it.

Patreon is a service used by videographers, artists, writers, podcasters, musicians and other creators that lets them get paid directly from their fans monthly or each time they create something new.

Today, Patreon is sponsoring a “Weird Stream-a-Thon” to rally fans in mourning over the cancellation of South by Southwest (SXSW) to join a live stream and hear from some of the people who were to appear at the festival. It’s free to sign on and participate, and you’ll be able to donate if you have the means. Patreon has put up $10,000 to start a fund that will be used to help struggling artists who are suddenly out of work. Applications will be accepted and a committee has been set up to dole out any money raised.

Patreon’s website describes it like this: “What the heck is a stream-a-thon? We’re not sure. We’re kind of making this up as we go, but it’s going to be weird for sure. The event will be hosted by Jack Conte, Patreon co-founder and creator. We’ll have conversations with artists and experts, performances, some fun surprises and a whole lotta community collaboration. It’s free to watch and participate from anywhere in the world, and those who can afford it can join us in donating to the artists & communities most impacted.”

Sign up at events.patreon.com, and start streaming at 4 p.m. today. First up, you’ll be welcomed by Conte and Carlos Cabrera. Then Amanda Palmer talks about the covid-19’s international impact on the creative community. Other topics include “what’s next for music,” “future proofing your career,” and “feed your dreams, not the algorithm — using social media without being used.”

Music will also be included, with performances by folk singer-songwriter Raye Zaragoza, hip-hop artist Open Mike Eagle, among others. Podcasters are also involved, and Patreon admits its making this up as it goes, so there will be surprises.

The whole thing last just two hours. The entire schedule is listed on the website.

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