SARATOGA SPRINGS — As efforts to curtail the spread of COVID-19 force music venues across the nation to go dark, Saratoga's Caffè Lena is maintaining a nightly concert schedule.
There will be no audience in the popular venue's 110 seats, but bands will take the stage to keep delivering music "at a time when it's needed most," Caffè Lena's Board President Jim Mastrianni said, in a statement.
Using three broadcast cameras mounted in the performance space, the venue will use professional operators to livestream concerts on its YouTube channel.
"We're really concerned about the loss of income for independent musicians who are unable to work now, and we also know that music helps everyone feel better at times like this," Mastrianni said. "Based on people's remarks, we know it's a big pick-me-up to be part of an audience when people are feeling isolated and worried," said Mastrianni.
"Music is our mission," said the café’s Executive Director Sarah Craig. "We can't be together in person for a few weeks, so we're going to engage people right in their living rooms. It seems like lots of folks are eager to help our musical family stay strong during this challenging time."
The goal is offering a broadcast every night at 8 p.m. for the duration of the shut-down. The performances can be accessed through www.caffelena.org.