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Big Top Chautauqua keeps music alive virtually while looking forward to 2021 season

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BAYFIELD, WI-- Gathering in person for live music has not been an option for nearly a year.

For concert venues like Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield, they have been working to keep the spirit alive while looking ahead to their 2021 season.

"It's defiantly the lifeblood for so many people out there, and people miss live music so much," said Kate Barido, Director of Advancement for Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua.

Big Top rose to the challenge and filled the void through their weekly Tiny Tent Shows streamed online.

They are hoping to keep musicians playing and bringing joy to people in a dark time.

"Hearing some of our musicians talk about how important it was to have a goal and have collaborations with other musicians that otherwise wouldn't have happened," said Barido.

But with an empty tent during their busy months and no revenue coming in, the non-profit relied on donations and state grants to make it happen.

"We would've had to lay off staff. We wouldn't have had the show," said Barido. "I don't think big top Chautauqua would've gone away, but definitely, we would not be in the position that we are in today with the proper staff that's ready to tackle the 2021 season."

As they look towards a new season, there are still a lot of unknowns.

Big Top is hoping for in-person shows with a limited capacity, but are is ready to be flexible until it is safe.

"I know that we will be creative, and we will come through the next year just waiting for the time that we can all gather under the canvas tent," said Barido.

Big Top Chautauqua streams their Tiny Tent Shows every Friday on Facebook and Youtube.

For more information on upcoming shows and donations, click here.

Natalie Grant

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