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Ben Kweller Announces Livestream Debut

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The event will take place August 7 at the Continental Club.

Ben Kweller Announces Livestream Debut

On Friday, August 7th, Austin's favorite solo-rocker, Ben Kweller, will be giving his first performance since lockdown began. The gig will broadcast live from South Congress' legendary Continental Club. Indie darling, Briston Maroney, will be opening the show from his living room in Nashville, TN. Tickets are $15 with the option of donating to Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM).


This special event marks the first of many live shows from real but empty venues hosted by virtual concert promoter, NoiseCo Presents. At a time when artists are relegated to their couches and venue owners and agents question the future of live entertainment, NoiseCo Presents has emerged to bring fans, performers, and venues together again. This all happened because of one artist's need for faster internet -- that artist was Kweller himself.

"I got home from a west coast tour on March 1st", Kweller says through the copper wire landline from his Dripping Springs ranch, "COVID hit and on one hand I was happy to be way out here in the sticks. On the other hand, my practically dial-up internet meant that I couldn't even do an Instagram Live without dropping out. At the same time, my friends who own and operate clubs were experiencing the pain of no more shows, so I thought maybe there's a way we can all come together."

Kweller envisioned a concert promoter that specialized in the virtual space and sat down with his team at The Noise Company. For those outside of the Austin area, The Noise Company began as a kitchen table record label back in 2011 and has been responsible for developing artists such as Wild Child and Modern Love Child, as well as managing the music and visual art of 'i love you so much' muralist, Amy Cook. Over the past three months, The Noise Company built a custom platform from the ground up, and NoiseCo Presents was born. While many websites give artists access to a live feed, NoiseCo is the only full-service promoter of the bunch.

"We partner with venues to give artists and fans the closest thing to a real experience as possible", says Stephen Schoen, NoiseCo GM. "The artist shows up for soundcheck like any other gig, our crew handles the audio and camera blocking, and before you know it, doors open and fans start entering the virtual space from the comfort of their homes. The chat room buzzes like fans pressed against the stage waiting for the opener to come on. An artist hits the stage and all of a sudden the excitement of a real show is happening."

Once the tech was built, Kweller called his longtime friend, fellow entrepreneur and Continental Club owner, Steve Wertheimer, to tell him the news. Wertheimer was especially excited about what this could mean for all the musicians, clubs, and crew members who have been out of work.

"The biggest challenge we [venues] face right now", Wertheimer says, "is the ability to stream high quality shows from behind the paywall and give fans the feeling that they're really out at a concert. There's so many different ways to stream, but no one puts all the pieces together like NoiseCo does - they have the ticketing, the equipment, the crew, the marketing, the technology, the venues, all rolled into one."

When agents and managers go to to book a show, the bottom of the page sums everything up in one simple phrase, Help keep the live music capital alive. Of all the NoiseCo ventures, this might be the most important. Every ticket supports the local music scene in some way -- From camera operators to audio mixers, video editors to venue staff, and of course the artists themselves. While no one knows where all of this will lead, Kweller believes that livestreaming is a worthwhile endeavor and could outlive COVID if done properly.

"As a music fan and a performer, I know that nothing will ever replace being right there in the flesh. But one thing the pandemic has shown us is that people wanna connect and can connect and feel something real, even if it's through a screen."


August 7th, 2020

7:30pm CST - Doors

7:50pm CST - Briston Maroney

8:00pm CST - Ben Kweller

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