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Streamin’ Steves close to becoming reality

Steve’s Guitars will livestream its second concert from the intimate Carbondale space this Friday.
Nina Morningstar Bear

Steve’s Guitars owner Steve Standiford’s longtime dream of livesteaming concerts from his intimate Carbondale venue is now closer than ever to becoming reality. With a $2,000 matching grant from the Bob Purvis family, Standiford now has enough capital invested in the project to begin streaming live shows, possibly by the end of April.

“It’s pretty exciting, and it’s been years in the making, but nothing good comes easy,” Standiford said. “The HD cameras and a bunch of the streaming equipment arrived today. So now I’ve got to do a bunch of work to make room for it upstairs. We’ve got all the cable runs downstairs through a hole we drilled in the antique ceiling, and we’re setting up a video station to go with that. It’s great progress.”

How livestreaming concerts would work in the time of coronavirus is unclear, and Standiford said it is an ongoing debate between he and his staff members over what might be possible given the restrictions of social distancing.

He said the stage at Steve’s Guitars is big enough to hold two performers at least 6 feet apart, and it would be possible to have a third performer somewhere else in the room along with a sound technician, a lighting technician, and someone upstairs to run the video station.

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“We shouldn’t have more than five or so people in the shop at any one time, so it won’t be the same at all,” Standiford said. “Our longterm goal is streaming live acts, up to a ten piece, so that’s really where I want to get back to. In the meantime the best we can do is to shoot out solo, duo, maybe trio performers. We won’t get that ‘immersed in live music’ feeling, but it will be better than what we’ve got going now.”

Standiford said that “a half dozen” musical acts have already contacted him, expressing their desire to play at the venue as soon as possible.

“I don’t think it will be an issue to get local folks, they just want to play,” he said. “They’re jonesin’ too.”

Another decision that Standiford and his staff is wrestling with is how they want to stream concerts — whether it be through Facebook, YouTube, Grassroots TV, or all of the above.

“We’re trying to get KDNK interested in joining in too, because it would be a pretty easy link to their mobile video station,” he said.

Standiford had originally set a goal of $18,000 for the streaming project, and he said that with the Purvis family matching grant, he his within $5,000 of reaching that goal.

“Right now we’ve got two and maybe three really good HD cameras, and a $5,000 switcher that GrassRoots TV is throwing in. 1st Bank gave us $3,000 for the equipment and $3,000 for general operations,” Standiford said.

“We were just joking around this morning about how we couldn’t do it any cheaper because so many people are donating their time and money. So it’s a shoestring operation, but I think our stream is going to be major league quality.”

jbear@postindependent.com


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