In May of 2020 ONCE Somerville, an independent venue in the Boston Metro area, decided to launch a “virtual venue”. The venue was started in response to the COVID19 crisis and the massive amount of cancellations that occurred in the wake of stay at home order. ONCE VV is a place for audiences to interact and enjoy performances that range to suit all sorts of palates. Music, tutorials, fitness, games and more.
A small group of volunteers have worked to see this venue into reality. Their badass production team consists of videographer and musician Stephen LoVerme of Treebeard Media and Boston-based metal band SEA, James McElhiney, music fan and tech extraordinaire. Logistics and booking are being organized by Bridget Duggan, ONCE’s booking manager and marketing content and branding is coming from NEU student and ONCE intern, Erin Solomon, with fearless leadership by owner and muse, JJ Gonson.
Gonson describes the nature and beauty of the connection of music venues to their musicians and patrons best in a recent piece on ArtsFuse; “We call ourselves independent, but what we are is interdependent. Performance is art. Art soothes and nurtures us. It makes us happy.” ONCE VV will work hard to add a warmth and hospitality to the livestream by evoking the hominess and cozy hospitality they are known for and will continue to keep the ONCE name tied to diverse and quality programming as they frontier the wild west of an online “virtual venue”.
All for ONCE and ONCE for ALL!