By Donovan Roche
The coronavirus pandemic put the kibosh on all public entertainment — from new movie releases and small club shows to major music festivals. Now, for at least the remainder of April, San Diegans are quarantined at home and struggling to find ways to entertain themselves.
Truth is, there’s much more one can do beyond binge-watching Netflix shows and playing yet another board game with family members. Whether a film buff or music hound, here’s a roundup of things you can do to feed your entertainment fix — and, in some cases, show your support — while under lockdown:
Belly Up-goers can help out the Solana Beach club (and many musicians who perform there) by downloading recordings of past shows available on BellyUpLive.com. You’ll find albums from local and national acts, including The English Beat, Steve Poltz, Ann Wilson and Donovan Frankenreiter. Most albums are only $7.99 each; or you can make your own favorite playlist for just 99 cents per song.
The Casbah and Soda Bar are selling merch on their respective websites, with the former using the profits to cover expenses while closed and the latter donating all proceeds to their currently out-of-work staff. So, if you’ve ever contemplated getting a hoodie or T-shirt from either of these popular clubs, now would be a great time.
Those missing out on this year’s Coachella festival, postponed to October, can at least relive past performances when the documentary “20 Years in the Desert” streams for free on YouTube on Friday, April 10; the event’s original kick-off date. Chronicling the Indio-based fest’s history, the film spotlights such memorable sets as Guns N’ Roses (when Axl Rose performed from a throne), Beyoncé, and the now legendary Tupac Shakur hologram from 2012.
Canceling for the first time in its 34-year history, South by Southwest has partnered with Amazon Prime Video to show select films that would have been screened at the popular Austin film, music and interactive media fest. Prime Video said in a tweet that it is offering the 10-day streaming event free to all in late April “because these films deserve an audience.”
In addition to numerous “live at home” performances appearing on social media — from the likes of Coldplay’s Chris Martin, P!nk and Keith Urban — some artists, including Elton John and Garth Brooks, have presented more elaborate shows on TV networks.
Taking it up a notch, Global Citizen’s “One World: Together at Home” is a global broadcast and digital special aimed at providing support to frontline healthcare workers and the World Health Organization. Curated by Lady Gaga, the April 18 mega-event will feature performances by such luminaries as Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Lizzo, and Billie Eilish. You can watch a two-hour broadcast on ALL CBS, Disney, NBC and Viacom networks, or a five-hour simulcast airing digitally on Amazon, YouTube, Apple TV, and others.
Closing things out, on April 21, CBS will air (and CBSAllAccess will stream) “Let’s Go Crazy: The GRAMMY Salute to Prince.” Filmed in conjunction with this year’s awards show, the all-star tribute to the revered artist will feature performances from John Legend, Foo Fighters, Gary Clark Jr. and Miguel, as well as Prince protégés Morris Day and The Time and Sheila E., among many others.
Donovan Roche has covered music and entertainment for more than 30 years.
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