Independent music venues that book original acts are in big trouble and will be the last to reopen after coronavirus lockdowns, but live music itself lives. Restaurants are booking acts which play cover-heavy sets, and artists are finding new ways to reach fans.
Just look at this “Mad Beach Boatstock” bill set to kick off at noon on Saturday, May 16 at a boat graveyard near Bay Pines and St. Petersburg. The flyer says the show is accessible by boat only and suggests music fans “hit up your rich buddies” to help them get to the anchoring location behind the south side of the Bay Pines V.A., in between Archie’s Island and the bridge crossing the Tom Stuart Causeway. Three CL favorites—salt-kissed rock outfit FayRoy (pictured), rock and roll power trio Johnny Mile and the Kilometers, plus Kenny Mullins of reggae-rock band Resinated—are on the bill along with DJ Rollin.
FayRoy bassist and singer Zack Hoag told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that his band got onto the bill thanks to Dustin Howard, a friend and Indian Rock Beach surf scene lifer who works at Madeira Beach’s Saltwater Hippie bar. Howard had the idea pitched to him by another local, Bob Burnett, who wanted to throw a party that kept everyone socially distant while kind of bringing back that normal feeling of going to a show.
“So they thought if they did it completely water based that people would basically be bound by their vessels,” Hoag said in a message. Some people wanted Howard and Burnett to do it at a sandbar near John’s Pass so people could get out of their boats, but that defeated the whole purpose of a socially distant show.
“So they chose this spot (a cove) because it was secluded and deep,” Hoag added.
Mad Beach Boatstock bands will arrive on three separate boats so that there are less than 10 people on each vessel. Hoag said the show itself will happen “either be on the roof of a large charter boat or on a legitimate 26x55ft barge.”
“I prefer the barge cause it actually will look and feel like a stage,” Hoag said. “The main thing we’re pushing with this event is that it’s kind of a uniquely Florida approach to staying safe in these strange times, but still creatively making the show go on.. [we’re flying by the seat of our quarantined pants.”
The show’s organizers, Salty Static Podcast, are asking for donations via Venmo (@boatstock). More information on the concert—including set times—is on social media.
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