Members of the university’s Live Music Society (SULMS) took to Stirling’s streets on Monday (October 5) in their first live performance in almost seven months.
Society members organised a live event which saw them busking on Murray Place for four hours.
SULMS performed from 12 till 4pm, entertaining members of the public, raising money for the society and being able to continue their passion for live music.
Live Music’s last performance was when they played at the live showcase in Venue at the Students’ Union on March 13, just over one week before the introduction of a national lockdown.
Live Music lost their regular chance to perform with the cancellation of Open Mic nights at the Students’ Union due to Coronavirus restrictions.
SULMS President Jenny Einebrant spoke about the inspiration behind the event,
“We wanted to keep playing. Music is not a negative thing. By busking we can keep playing in a social distanced and hygienic way.
“Everyone’s safety is obviously a priority, and this way we can still perform.
“It’s a way for us to keep the music going.”
The society put in place a number of safety measures and equipment so that members could perform while also being protected from Coronavirus. (Covid-19)
These measures include spit proof microphone covers and regular cleaning of the equipment.
“Every performer gets their own microphone cover, and all of the instruments and equipment are sanitised after each act,” Einebrant explained.
“Obviously we are all socially distancing by household and everyone wears a mask when they are not performing.”
The arts industry has been one of the most heavily impacted by the Coronavirus Pandemic, and Stirling’s arts societies have been no different.
The busking event from SULMS has allowed them to make a long-awaited return to performing live, in the first event of its kind for arts societies this semester.
“Music is important to people,” Einebrant commented, “it is a big part of some people’s lives.
“It is a way for people to cope and we need that now during a global pandemic.
“For us it is about coming together to play music and have a good time.”
The event was welcomed by the community, as passers by donated to the society, danced along and some members of the public sang along with the performers. Others spoke to SULMS members asking about the event and one woman said that she had really enjoyed the music.
Einebrant commented on the success of the event, talking about how busking could be a good thing for the community.
“Its an amazing feeling to perform again and I’m glad to see people enjoy themselves.
“It went really well, people were stopping to watch while we were performing, it could be a really good thing for the community.”
Societies that rely on in-person meetings and live performances have been left with few options for how to operate after the introduction of coronavirus restrictions.
Einebrant discussed the society changing to ensure that they could perform during the pandemic.
“Other societies can do things online but we can’t, we’re live.
“We originally wanted to busk on campus but the university did not permit it, so we decided to move into town instead. We contacted Stirling Council to find out any rules that we need to follow.
“We just have to adapt, just like in our personal lives.”
Any funds that the society makes from busking will go towards buying new equipment for SULMS, as well as continuing to purchase more microphone covers, anti-bacterial spray and other safety equipment so that they can continue to perform.
VP Communities Josh Muirhead, who is responsible for all clubs and society matters at the students’ union, commented on the work of the Live Music Society to get back to performing in a safe manner.
“It is fantastic to see that the Live Music Society have adapted to the current conditions imposed by the COVID outbreak through busking in the city centre.
“This is one brilliant way to give a wee bit of joy to the Stirling community as they go about their day to day lives as well as still carrying out activities as a society.
“All Clubs and Societies have obviously had to change how they function this term, however this has been particularly difficult for societies that rely on physical spaces like the Arts, Media, and activity based societies.”
The Live Music Society have already started thinking about their plans for the future. including making enquiries into getting access to the cottage on campus, although this is not possible at this time with the university wanting to prevent unnecessary access to campus spaces.
Although it was SULMS members who took part in the first busking event, the committee encouraged any student musicians to join them at the next busking event that they run.
Featured Image credit: Brig Newspaper/Harry Williamson