Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion to Broadcast Virtual Fest
Not all is lost in Luck, TX—the town that Willie Nelson built to film the movie The Red Headed Stranger that is adjacent to his home just outside of Austin, TX. Over the last few years, the Luck Reunion has been one of the premier events during SXSW in mid March, happening on the Thursday of the festivities, and drawing capacity crowds.
This year the Luck Reunion had an incredible lineup. But like everything else, it has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. Nonetheless, they will be celebrating Thursday (3-19) with a live streaming event showcasing many of the artists originally scheduled to perform, and a few surprises.
Called “Til Further Notice,” the event will stream free to the public on luckreunion.com/tilfurthernotice, and on twitch.tv/luckreunion starting on 6 p.m. Central. Artists will broadcast from their respective houses all across the country. Confirmed performers include:
Willie Nelson – Lukas Nelson – Micah Nelson – Paul Cauthen – Randy Houser – Margo Price & Jeremy Ivey – Lucinda Williams – Paul Simon and Edie Brickell – Nathaniel Rateliff – Jewel – Ida Mae – Devon Gilfillian – Thomas Csobra – Tami Neilson – Sunny War – Ian Ferguson – Tre Burt – David Ramirez – Katie Pruitt – Nikki Lane – Early James
Though admission is free, a tip jar will be available for fans to pitch in. All proceeds will be distributed “equally and transparently,” and each artists can choose to donate the money to a charity or to a fellow artist in need.
“Everyone in our community is gutted. We are gutted. We couldn’t just sit around on Thursday when our event was supposed to take place, knowing that other producers and artists in our industry are also isolated and out of work,” says Matt Bizer, co-founder of Luck Productions. “This is our effort to bring back a bit of the Luck spirit, and to try to raise money for the people and charities we care about so deeply.”
The Luck Reunion is doing what SXSW proper was looking to do with a portion of their events for 2020, which was move them to the virtual world in the face of the pandemic before the City of Austin pulled the plug on the event entirely. Many artists are spending their evenings performing for fans via live streams, but this will be the first festival from the roots world to try out the idea after being cancelled.
6:15 PM – Ida Mae
6:25 PM – Nikki Lane
6:35 PM – Thomas Csorba
6:50 PM – Tami Neilson
7:00 PM – Lucinda Williams
7:15 PM – Devon Gilfillian
7:25 PM – Ian Ferguson
7:35 PM – Katie Pruitt
8:00 PM – David Ramirez
8:10 PM – Paul Cauthen
8:20 PM – Randy Houser
8:30 PM – Lucius
8:40 PM – Tré Burt
8:50 PM – Early James
9:15 PM – Margo Price & Jeremy Ivey
9:30 PM – Kurt Vile
9:40 PM – Sunny War
9:50 PM – Paul Simon & Edie Brickell
10:10 PM – Jewel
10:50 PM – Nathaniel Rateliff
11:15 PM – Willie Nelson, Lukas Nelson , and Micah Nelson
Hosted by Ray Benson
Watch live video from LuckReunion on www.twitch.tv
March 18, 2020 @ 7:49 pm
what a great idea…..should be a hoot!!
March 19, 2020 @ 5:08 am
My granddaughter got a rabbit for christmas- she named it Willie Lucky- 🙂
March 19, 2020 @ 7:39 am
great idea, way to go ,,Thank you Willie….
March 19, 2020 @ 9:46 am
Local musicians in my area are live-streaming concerts on Facebook with a “digital tip jar.” Proceeds from the tip jar will pay for gift cards that the organizers will purchase for bar and wait staffers in music venues that are now obviously out of commission. GoFundMe’s have also been set up to deal. Keep local music alive in the interim.
March 19, 2020 @ 9:55 am
This is cool to see. But I can’t help think that if there was a ever a person that needs to be extra careful right now it’s Willie. Hope he is.
March 19, 2020 @ 10:26 am
Good point. Willie would define high risk right now. I’m sure its killing him not being able to tour right now. I’m thinking with his free time maybe he’ll put some more tracks down in his recording studio. I mean, what else is he gonna do anyway?
March 19, 2020 @ 11:33 am
Yeah he ticks all the boxes.
I see more and more people are doing scheduled streaming. Just saw Wade Bowen and Cleto Cordero for example. Maybe it would be cool for someone to consolidate a schedule of country artists. Just a thought.
March 19, 2020 @ 2:17 pm
At this point, it would be easier to list off the artists not doing online streaming shows across an incredible swath of country and roots music than the ones that aren’t. Trying to put together a list would be both incomplete and redundant at the same time, and invariably somebody wouldn’t be listed, and then that artist and their fans would be offended. I would encourage everyone to check the social media feeds to see if their favorite artists are performing.
As I’ve said in a few comments, I’m frankly leery of this idea of streaming acoustic concerts from couches. I’ve never liked the idea all the way back to the Couch by Couchwest days. I just think it makes for poor content, and I’m especially afraid now that during this shutdown, it is going to permanently impinge on live music as artists discover it’s easier to sit at home and make money. I think this has been a great stopgap tool during the shutdown and I’m not criticizing anyone for participating in it. It’s just something I have mixed feelings on, and I would be disingenuous promoting it. I think this Luck Reunion thing is unique, and I’m looking forward to seeing how well it goes off. It could be a model of how to do it better as opposed to the overcrowding of hundreds and hundreds of artists getting online each night on Instagram, basically all competing with each other for attention with solo acoustic content. Live streams should remain unique, and special.
March 19, 2020 @ 2:47 pm
Ok. I think (and hope) your fears of impingement might be unwarranted. As you’ve said, the poor content can’t beat an in in person, real experience. That said, I think this is what some people need right now. It’s not just about the musical experience and content. Anyway, thanks for the reply. This particular show will be cool to watch no doubt.
March 19, 2020 @ 6:16 pm
At least no one is in front of you trying to record it for a shitty youtube video….
But i agree, its not a good thing to promote for exactly what you say.
Its not the same and it could be a real downward spiral like bloggers and social media killing real reporting, this could lead to all sorts of lame things.
Will bars stream it to a bigscreen in lieu of a live band? Its cheaper, maybe it still sells drinks. Bad thoughts
March 19, 2020 @ 6:47 pm
Yeah you know, I guess I didn’t think this through. Posting a calendar of live streamed music during an unprecedented shutdown and quarantine might lead to all kinds of things. Before you know it , when we return to some normalcy, he Mona Lisa will be replaced by a stream of the Mona Lisa. Going to staples arena will be screen of live steamed Lakers game being played at their training center. These are dangerous times, we better be careful not to promote musicians streaming when their shows have all been canceled. It’s a slippery slope.
March 20, 2020 @ 7:14 am
this isn’t going to replace live shows. televised music hasn’t replaced live music. watching sports on tv hasn’t replaced people going to the games. seeing music live isn’t only special for the audience. performing in front of people is something special too. anyone that ever played in a band knows the idea that performers are going to be complacent sitting on their couches because it’s easier is wrong.
March 20, 2020 @ 10:48 am
I don’t want to be alarmist here. But similar to how 9/11 completely changed how the entire airline system worked around the world, we’re going to see similar effects out of this crisis across culture. We already know we’re going to see many more people working from home after this crisis, and many more doctor’s visits will be handled remotely. And this may not be a bad thing. I definitely think this could affect live music and touring. Just how it will, we’ll have to see. One good thing is the quality has been so bad with so many of these streams, I’m really not worried about it. Nonetheless, it’s not something I feel comfortable in promoting. With a finite amount of time, I’d rather focus on an album that great care and love went into.
Bill from Wisconsin
March 19, 2020 @ 4:09 pm
It’s on! Thanks Willie!
March 19, 2020 @ 4:20 pm
Hey folks, just embedded the player up above and posted the schedule.
March 19, 2020 @ 4:37 pm
Ummm… right now watching a steamed video of a streamed video of a previously recorded video on a computer monitor about arts & crafts. Come on this content can’t be beat by a live show.
March 19, 2020 @ 4:45 pm
Yes, so apparently Nikki made a video that was supposed to play in her slot, but she didn’t get it submitted in time, and so she had to point her phone at the monitor. It was a cool video, but not the best video quality.
March 19, 2020 @ 5:10 pm
Yeah…hey I like the ad hoc spirit.
March 19, 2020 @ 9:46 pm
That was awesome in a special way..nice
March 19, 2020 @ 9:49 pm
Great show! Never expected to see Woody Harrelson
Andy. Yorkshire. England
March 20, 2020 @ 1:30 am
Tried to stay awake in UK but time difference was awkward as I had to work. Any chance of catch up pleeeeeze
March 20, 2020 @ 4:00 am
None of these live stream things have ever been, are, or will ever be worth a crap on their own merits. And I watched a little of this one, confirming it also fits the bill (though it was better than most, by far!). But I hadn’t made the connection to getting funds out to all the support/backstage/venue people out there, so this is definitely something that could be supported in this time of need. If you are supporting, then good on ya! If you haven’t yet, then please consider.
Just like, I would hope the movie corporations that are streaming new releases for $20 are sharing a large percentage of that with theaters, eh?
March 20, 2020 @ 10:58 am
No doubt these live streams are a great way to support touring artists through this tough time, and in no way do I want to run this effort down.
I’m glad some or many enjoyed this Luck Reunion live stream. But many of the performances were hard to hear, nearly all the performances were acoustic only, and some, if not many were not live, which was not what was advertised. When Shovels & Rope came on at 9 something from their porch and it was still light outside in their video, it just killed a lot of the vibe for me. One of the points of these live streams is to instill that live feel by witnessing something happening in real time. Most of these live streams have just not been good content. I feel like we’re in the videotape era of film. Without a lot of effort, you can set up some good mics, and good cameras, and do a real quality feed from a $150 mixing board. But instead we have folks propping up their iPhones on the back of a dirty coffee mug, and playing an acoustic guitar in a boomy room.
Karen Jonas did a live show last night with great audio, a full band and multiple cameras. This should be the model everyone else uses.
March 20, 2020 @ 1:39 pm
iPhone video is fine. Audio, not so much. It’s surprising that artists wouldn’t have at least something half decent to plug into their phones. Willie and sons sounded great but it was jarring to see the editing that was done to their segment, when expecting a live show. The pre-recorded stuff and the shitty audio didn’t help my faith in this format.
March 20, 2020 @ 2:08 pm
I can fight through poor video quality. But audio quality is another thing. And what’s so frustrating is it’s not that hard to do. A few hundreds bucks can put together a really good setup that can go directly into your computer and on the web. I don’t want to discourage people from doing these live broadcasts, but understand this may be the way people are introduced to your music. That is why I don’t want to promote a bad broadcast from a good artist. They may have a great performance. But if it sounds like crap, that’s all they’ll remember.
And yes, the transitions between the separate Willie Nelson and Sons performances was really disappointing. Was hoping at least they would be live. And if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have known the difference.
March 20, 2020 @ 6:30 pm
Wade Bowen on right now is doing it right – or at least way better.