ACA.covidtourism.10.042220

A poster advertising the Downtown Alive! concert series spring lineup is displayed in a closed store's window Tuesday, April 21, 2020, in downtown Lafayette, La. Due to COVID-19 coronavirus concerns, the concerts were cancelled, but the performers are live streaming their music for fans online each Friday night.

Curley Taylor was looking forward to spending two weeks touring in England before the pandemic canceled nearly every in-person performance scheduled for 2020.

Now, he's just looking forward to getting out of the house and performing on a stage again, even if it's without a crowd for a virtual concert as part of Downtown Alive!'s fall season.

"It's totally different than being on stage and seeing people dancing and grooving," Taylor said. "We'll make the best of it, but there's nothing like the fans out there dancing to the music."

In the interest of public safety and in accordance with governmental guidelines, the organizers of Downtown Alive! announced Monday they are once again going virtual for the Fall 2020 season.

The 37th season of Downtown Alive!, which is presented by Evangeline Maid,  will be streamed online from Rock'n'Bowl de Lafayette in downtown Lafayette.

DTA! will take place on Friday nights, with streaming beginning at 6 p.m. Viewers can watch the virtual live performances by tuning in to the Downtown Alive! facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/downtownlafayette.

The season will kick off Sept. 18 featuring Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble’s bluesy zydeco blend.

Taylor has done a handful of virtual shows since the coronavirus took hold of the state in mid-March. His most recent performance was over the weekend as part of the Philadelphia Folk Festival.

He's had to remind himself that people are watching the shows, even though he's been performing from his home. 

"It almost turns into a rehearsal," Taylor said. "You're trying to keep in mind that people are looking at you. We're hoping with it being at Rock'n'Bowl that there will be a couple of people around so it feels more like a show, a little something to feed off of. We'll make the best of it either way."

Taylor said he's thankful for the income, especially since his unemployment benefits ended a few weeks ago after he received a $2 royalty check from an appearance in HBO's "True Blood."

Other notable performances include the funky soul stylings of DG & The Freetown Sound; a second helping of Zydeco courtesy of Rusty Metoyer and the Zydeco Krush; a dash of down-home Cajun from the Daiquiri Queens; and a season wrap-up with a Who's Who of Acadiana musicians with the Blue Monday Allstars.

“This Fall season is special to us because it gives Downtown Lafayette an opportunity to support local musicians who have been unable to perform as they usually would as of late,” said Anita Begnaud, CEO of Downtown Development Authority and Downtown Lafayette Unlimited, the nonprofit organization that produces DTA!

“Downtown Alive! is thrilled to partner with a Downtown business, Rock'n'Bowl de Lafayette," she said. "They have made investments in production equipment and developed expertise in streaming that will allow us to take the success of our Spring 'House Sessions' to another level. We will have the ability to stream across multiple pages to allow a wider audience to view the range of talent we have secured and enjoy the magic of DTA! from home.”

Besides Evangeline Maid and Rock'n'Bowl de Lafayette, other sponsors include Lafayette Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Smokefree Music Cities, LUS Fiber, M.I. Brary, Victor Ashy, CGI, Professional Outsource Services, Lowry’s Printing, Element, Potty Girl, Townsquare Media, Delta Media, and Festival International de Louisiana.

Keep an eye out for virtual competitions, weekly cocktail tutorials and other surprises during the season.

“Our community has been through a lot over the last number of months, and it reminds us of the difficult times Lafayette was originally going through when DTA! originally started in the ’80s,” Begnaud said. “We hope now, as it was then, DTA! is a bright spot in people’s lives and serves as a reminder of the uniqueness of our community’s culture. We look forward to seeing you all on our Facebook page on Friday nights this Fall!”

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Email Megan Wyatt at mwyatt@theadvocate.com.