Virtual concert helps South Bay musicians struggling during COVID-19 outbreak

HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- As Los Angeles closes bars, restaurants and venues, Hermosa Music Company is extending a helping hand to local musicians unable to find gigs during the coronavirus outbreak.

"We realized that all of these musicians in our community down here in the South Bay have lost all of their gigs," said Kevin Sousa, owner of the Hermosa Music Company.

On Sunday, the recording studio hosted its first Stream-a-thon. With the help of other studios and venues in Hermosa Beach, seven local acts took part in an 8-hour concert that was streamed online.

"I think everyone in our industry is feeling this right now," said Zeal Levin, musician and manager of the Hermosa Music Company. "No one has any gigs. My regular gigs are canceled and it's taking a toll on everyone."

Heath Francis is a full-time musician from Hermosa Beach.

"I've lost thousands of dollars," said Francis. "That's how I put food on the table and how I pay rent. It's affecting me big time."

Virtual concert-goers were able to donate to a GoFundMe page, where all of the funds raised went directly to the musicians and crew involved in the event. Sousa mentioned that musicians and crew members that have day jobs did not accept any of the donations.

"It'll help me a lot," said Francis. "It's not going to recover all of my losses, but it's going to definitely give me hope."

Hermosa Music Company is planning to produce another Stream-a-thon on Sunday, March 22.

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