Roots Live! is a new organisation which been created, in their own words: “by musicians for musicians as a response to the new demand for concert streaming in 2020. It became clear that live concerts, as we know it, would be changed in these unprecedented times, potentially for some while. There is now a move towards a new era of high quality ticketed concerts streamed online so that fans can keep up with their favourite artists and bands.”
It began as a collaboration between independent filmmakers Northern Cowboy Films and retro-style microphone maker Roots Microphones as a way of bringing live roots music to a global audience, shot in HD with broadcast-quality cameras and studio-quality audio.
Mike Lewis of Roots Microphones commented: “The concept for concert live streaming was being developed with Northern Cowboy Films in late 2019, building upon their expertise in producing music videos for Folk Alliance International, Musicians Union, AMAUK and British Underground. Once Lockdown was announced in March, musicians had gigs and tours cancelled, destroying their income. It took about 3 months to procure cameras, video switching gear and lighting, just in time for lifting of restrictions in July”.
Mark Lewis, technical director at Northern Cowboy Films, says that it’s “essential to be able to stream reliably in HD video and much effort was put into testing before we could commit to our first ticketed shows. Summer of Live for Musicians Union and British Underground was successfully broadcast in July, followed by concerts for Lady Nade and Lauren Housley”.
For Thomas Dibb, creative director at Northern Cowboy Films, “Our background as accomplished musicians and music producers means that we understand artists’ needs. Our passion is to showcase established and upcoming artists in the best possible light. It is really satisfying to see how much artists are enjoying performing again and how much fans appreciate the quality of the shows”.
Roots Live! focusses on the Americana, Country, Folk and Roots genres, with a vibrant season of live-streams up and running for the Autumn including Peter Bruntnell, Jon Boden, Danni Nicholls and Findlay Napier. Whilst events are streamed from Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield at the moment, they say that suggestions for interesting and unusual locations are welcomed. You can find out more over at their website here.