One of the first responses many people give when they’re asked what they’ve missed most during the COVID-19 pandemic is live music, and while it appears that this summer will feature more concerts, audiences are bound to be smaller.
Those who are still uncomfortable in crowds, or are craving something a more personal connection with the performer may have the perfect option in an already established system — house concerts, like those held at Parker resident John Diak’s home, otherwise known as Twenty Mile House Concerts.
“Attending these kinds of shows provides people with a whole new community of friends and new musicians to follow and enjoy,” Diak explained. “Anyone who enjoys music should endeavor to check one of these shows out. It’s amazing how intimate they are and how great a time people have.”
House concerts — where regular people host musicians and other performers at their homes — have been an established option for fans for many years, with word spreading about the shows through word of mouth and/or by dedicated fanbases. Thanks to social media and easy website creation, it’s never been easier to get the word out about the events and bring in local and national performers.
“I gained a real appreciation of this when I saw the connection artists and fans can have at these shows. They bring the whole music community together for just a great night.” Diak, who is also a Parker Town Council member, explained. “There are some great surprises in store for people who are unaware of all the talent out there nobody knows about. These shows provide a chance for audiences to connect with emerging artists.”
Twenty Mile House Concerts was launched in 2019, and Diak had plans to expand things in 2020, but the pandemic made that a difficult proposition. He was able to host his first outdoor performance in his backyard and sees this as a possible alternative option for music fans as the area comes out of shutdown. He will be hosting singer/songwriter Griffin House at his home at 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 23, and is hoping to bring in more performers this summer as touring for many artists starts back up.
“Some bands and musicians are house concert artists, and others are occasionally happy to play a show like this after playing a larger venue,” Diak said. “Right now, artists don’t have a lot of clarity on what the rules are going to be for performing, so it’s difficult to put a tour together right now. But hopefully these kinds of smaller shows will be a place where audiences can be comfortable and safe.”
For more information on Twenty Mile House Concerts, visit www.twentymilemusic.com.
Denver scurries again with its furriest friends
People interested in helping homeless pets and horses (which should be everybody) with the Dumb Friends League can get in on the active fun by taking part in the 28th annual Furry Scurry — in a virtual format. The event takes place on Saturday, May 1, and volunteers can rack up the miles in any way that is fun and easy for them.
According to provided information, registered participants will receive a Furry Scurry frenzy box featuring limited edition goodies and the event T-shirt. There’s an early-bird discount for entry, which will increase on the day of the event.
To register and the details, visit www.furryscurry.org.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week —- Thomas Rhett: One Night Only from Nashville
Thomas Rhett was just named the Male Artist of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards, and it’s clear from his performance at the ceremony that he misses doing the live thing. Since it’s been a year and a half since his last show, and as he has a new album out, called “Country Again: Side A,” Rhett is going to do his thing virtually.
Thomas Rhett: One Night Only from Nashville will be livestreamed at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 30. He’s bound to play some hits and try out some new tunes as well. For tickets and information, visit https://thomasrhett.veeps.com.
Streaming style — ReelAbilities: Denver Film Festival
The JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., is hosting the first ever Colorado-based ReelAbilities: Denver Film Festival from Wednesday, May 5 through Saturday, May 8. The all-virtual festival highlights diverse films and extra content (discussions and panels) that puts people with disabilities in the spotlight to tell the stories that matter most to them.
As part of the festival’s efforts to ensure it is as accessible as possible, all the films and supplemental programs will include open captions, audio description, all spoken content will be pre-recorded and offer American Sign Language interpretation, and pay what you can ticketing.
Highlights of the festival include a panel conversation about representation, visibility, and identity, hosted by Phamaly Theatre Company.
For more information about the festival, visit jccdenver.org/reelabilities.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture apears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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