Quarantine Cabaret presents the first Scottish Instagram Cabaret
- Hamish Gibson
- 18 March 2020
Join Cameron Foster and a host of other performers from the comfort of your home
With gigs, shows and events across the country cancelling en masse as the COVID-19 outbreak continues, a new platform is launching this Saturday to help struggling performers find an audience. Fundraising through JustGiving and streaming live on Instagram, Quarantine Cabaret will present music and poetry direct from artists' homes.
It will take the form of 20-minute slots, hosted by Leith-based Cameron Foster from his home while the acts connect online.
As well as the pressing need for performers to recoup earnings in the face of massive imminent financial losses across the industry, event programmer Foster is starting Quarantine Cabaret because he felt the need for an immediate response to the crisis.
'It's the first time we're doing it so it's still a wee bit experimental, but it's important to try and get something done and to have a quick response. It's something we're quite excited about.'
Musicians lined up for the first show are Heir of the Cursed, Craig Lithgow and Ben Seal, along with poets Iona Lee and Kevin P Gilday.
Heir of the Cursed is the solo project of Glasgow's Beldina Odenyo Onassis. As well as her own work, the Scottish-Kenyan artist has collaborated with Kobi Onyame, and her soulful, reflective take on dream pop is popular right across Scotland.
Edinburgh's Craig Lithgow plays a guitar-based type of Scottish blues backed up with a deep passion for roots music. Seal's style is visually creative and his music calmly catchy, with a quirky take on pop music. Poets Iona Lee and Kevin P Gilday are on the bill, making for a lively, complete mix you'd expect at any standard performance night.
Work is already underway on the next show, with Lake Montgomery, SHEARS, and Loud Poets' Kevin Mclean confirmed, with the hope of turning the format into a regular event. Big acts, including Coldplay and John Legend, are taking part in similar livestreaming projects, but Foster is aiming his efforts at those without access to stadium-sized audiences.
'There's news about bigger acts doing live shows, but [Quarantine Cabaret's] not really the same kind of thing. There's hopefully more of a donation element to this that helps folk out that rely on gig income.'
There are murmurs of similar platforms underway, but this is one of the first official announcements in Scotland's grassroots scene. 'The more the merrier,' Foster says, 'the more opportunities for folk to perform the better.'
Catch the first Quarantine Cabaret on Sat 21 Mar at 7.30pm, then every Saturday on instagram.com/QuarantineCabaret
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