Buskers are taking over corners of Willits and downtown Basalt as part of Wednesday Night Live, which kicks off Wednesday, June 24 (5:30 to 8:30 p.m.). The Arts Center at Willits, or TACAW, Town of Basalt, and the Basalt Chamber of Commerce is putting on the series, which is set to run each week until mid-August. The event takes the place of the town's normal weekly concert series, which was cancelled—along with other TACAW programming—due to public health concerns over COVID-19.
"Looking backwards to look forward," said TACAW's executive director Ryan Honey of the idea behind the event. "Busking's been around forever; people have been putting out a hat and entertaining folks in the street."
TACAW recently screened the film "Rolling Stones: Havana Moon" in Crown Mountain Park's parking lot. Tickets to the show sold out in an hour, and 160 cars packed the venue. Honey said that Wednesday Night Live should offer audiences similar peace of mind when it comes to social distancing—and entertainment.
"The drive-in was so much fun ... people were just so pleased to be out in a safe way," said Honey. "The energy around Wednesday Night Live is also pretty robust. The goal is to create community, but also to drive economic vitality."
Local comedians, street performers, magicians and musicians will be part of each week's event. Honey added that TACAW has already started hearing from other performers around the state who want to be added to the lineup.
Wednesday Night Live runs every Wednesday until August 19, and a full schedule can be found on TACAW's website.