There is not much new to say about 2020 that hasn’t already been said. It was a monumental year for us all, especially those in the San Lorenzo Valley who had to deal with far more than a pandemic. At Felton Music Hall we found ourselves in an especially peculiar spot after we had to shut our doors after Ricky Skaggs walked off the stage on March 11th. Because we are a new music venue, not being allowed to showcase musical talent for most of the year, forced us to find new & creative ways to simply keep our lights on. When we were able to have limited indoor dining, we had to learn how to do so safely, for those in our community & the artists who took the stage. We had to establish new take out options and procedures. We had to learn how to stream concerts and broadcast it to fans across the nation. We even got political and built relationships with our local congressmen, health officials & state assembly members in an effort to get legislation passed that would provide funding to shuttered businesses. It was difficult but a welcome challenge…for it is in moments of great difficulty that creativity can prosper. With the help of all our employees, advice from our fans & patrons and leadership from those within our community, Felton Music Hall was able to accomplish some pretty amazing things in 2020 despite all the road blocks placed in front of us. As we look forward to 2021, here is a couple highlights from the infamous 2020 we’d like to share; as well as thanking those who made these accomplishments possible:
- Friday Nights became our favorite nights! It was here that Shockwave & Felton Music Hall perfected the now famous Fried Chicken recipe. This recipe fed families all throughout the Valley and gave households the taste of comfort when we all needed it the most. Check out our menu here!
- While temporarily short lived, Felton Music Hall hosted our first ever Bluegrass Jam. The Jam is something we will undoubtably bring back when shows can return. One of the main purposes of the Jam was to continue our fight to preserve roots & Americana music in our community. We’d like to thank Brent Pierce for being the first host and we can’t wait to work with him again on the Bluegrass Jam! Make sure you follow our calendar for up to date show information and make sure you check out Brett’s music.
- We created new merchandise that we’re really proud of. It has been exciting to see people already rocking the hats and shirts in town! If you’re looking for some new gear to wear or just a nice gift for your fellow music fan, check out our store here.
- We continued to build on our Membership Program. We must take a moment and thank all our members who continued to support Felton Music Hall despite having no shows to attend. These dedicated members are a major reason we’ll be able to put on live events once Covid-19 is over. THANK YOU! In the coming months, being a member will allow you access to make personalized messages on our marquee — we know this will be a novel way for our community to spread positive messages to their friends & neighbors — something we all need right now. If you’d like to find out more information about the member program, check it out here.
- Felton Music Hall became very active in the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) which started in the wake of Covid-19 as an organization to help fight for and give a voice to independent music venues. Collectively we were able to pass the Save Our Stages Act with the help of our congressional leaders. It was truly a community effort — if you helped by reaching out to Congress or The Senate, we thank you! If you’d like to find out more about NIVA and where you can donate / participate, go here.
- We made some exciting new upgrades to the venue. Not only did we redo our Green Room so artist’s will be more comfortable during thier stay here, but we added a new marquee out front and put up some stylish new art inside the venue as well. Check it out below. We think it looks great and like to thank our very own Adam Brensen for his expert craftsmanship!
Lastly…we have been listening to a lot of music! Like, a lot of music. While 2020 may have seemed like a year where lots of albums got pushed back, where major releases never surfaced, where highly antisipated live shows were stripped from us, 2020 still provided some incredibly poignant music. It was a year in music that incapsulated our universal experiences — from stay at home orders, to social unrest surrounding police brutality, to political upheaval on Pennsylvania Avenue, as well as songs about self discovery & finding love within. It was songs like these that remind us why we adore music so much. Music has an innate ability to tell stories of human consciousness through the lens of pivotal historical moments. The songs we heard in 2020 gave us all insight into the human experience, many times helping illustrate the struggles coming from communities far from our own. Growing up we listened to “Ohio” by CSNY and we were able to understand the importance of the Kent State Massacre. We listened to “Hurricane” by Bob Dylan and were able to gain insight on the wrongful conviction of Ruben Carter. Today, songs like “Black Like Me” and “Six Feet Apart” will live on forever in our social psyche and allow future generations a small window into the events that effected each and every one of us in the year 2020. Music, its creation and its ability to transcend time is a fascinating process, and one we’ll never tire of here at Felton Music Hall.
Below is a couple of songs that we believe did an amazing job in telling the story that is “2020” — Beginning the playlist with Chris Stapleton’s “Starting Over”…something I think we’re all ready to do — building into SAULT’s monumental song “Wildfires” about social unrest — to Tre Burt’s heart wrenching ballad “Under The Devil’s Knee” in honor of George Floyd — to Tyler Childer’s daring & brave “Long Violent History”, a song that garnered him major criticism from his deep south fan base — to Adia Victoria’s “South Gotta Change” which addresses the very issues Tyler sung about— rounding it out with Christine & The Queens’ all too relatable “People, I’ve been Sad” and Dolly Parton’s “When Life Is Good Again” — and finally ending with Jeff Tweedy’s universal message: “LOVE IS THE KING.” Love is the king, and it is with all the love we felt from our very own community here Felton that will look back on 2020 with profound insight & with incredible fondness. Let’s let love be the king as we step into 2021.
Hope you enjoy! Please let us know some of your favorite songs and moments of 2020!
Tags: Brent Pierce, California, Felton, Felton Music, Felton Music Hall, Year End