Last November, Luck Reunion partnered with the Long Center for the Performing Arts to create Long Live Music, a socially distanced concert series that featured performances from iconic artists near and far. Tickets for the socially distanced squares sold out in minutes, proving that Austin was ready for the live music scene to bounce back as soon as it could. With the success the series had in the fall, Long Live Music returned again this spring to bring the Luck spirit to the Long Center Lawn.
Long Live Music’s spring series featured an amazing lineup over the course of two weekends (March 27 to April 4), including Patty Griffin with Carrie Rodriguez, Billy Strings, Nikki Lane & Jade Bird with Sir Woman, and Blind Boys of Alabama. All shows were once again sold out and graced the Austin community with live acts that we all missed dearly. After a tough year of having to shift everything to virtual events, the music industry was finally back and ready for action.
I had the opportunity to attend both weekends of the spring series and saw Billy Strings‘ performance on March 28, along with Nikki Lane & Jade Bird with Sir Woman on April 3, and both experiences vastly exceeded all expectations that lingered in the back of my mind beforehand. Though I’ve been able to attend a couple of other socially distanced shows in the past year, this one felt more special. I’m not sure if it was because spring had just sprung, I had just gotten my first vaccine, or the fact that it was a Luck Reunion event (which I have a deep love for; remember how much fun we had at Luck Ranch with Rolling Roadshow?), but there was something different in the air, a spirit I hadn’t felt in quite some time. As I watched people gather with their pod, kick back with a White Claw, and dance along to the incredible performances, I couldn’t help but come to a thrilling realization. This was it: This was the light at the end of a very dark, narrow and long tunnel.
The Long Center and Luck Reunion did a fantastic job of keeping everyone distanced and safe. Entry included a quick and efficient wellness check, and guests were even able to get drinks, food or merch delivered directly to their square through a QR code system. Masks were required on entry and throughout the venue but could be removed while sitting in your square, each of which were spaced six feet from each other, accommodated up to four guests, and had plenty of space to ensure everyone could lay out their own lawn chairs and blankets for comfort. As much as I’m looking forward to the world getting back to normal, I could certainly get used to more events like this.
Oh, and did I mentioned there was a Shakey Graves sighting?
The spring concert series also helped support Musically Fed, a nonprofit organization that is working across the country to provide unemployed musicians and music industry workers with access to fresh food, dry goods and other necessities during the pandemic. In addition to raising funds for the organization, Long Live Music held a food drive on April 17 and collected non-perishable food donations. It warmed my heart to see local organizations working together to lift up these communities in need.
Long Live Music left us hopeful and wanting more. As Austin starts to mend itself, I’m looking forward to more opportunities like these, where we can come together and appreciate the many musicians whose music provided solace and joy during an exceptionally lonely and heavy year, all for a good cause.
Luck Reunion and Long Center would like to thank their presenting partner, White Claw Hard Seltzer, along with supporting partners Rémy Cointreau, Buffalo Trace and Austin Subaru for helping to make the Long Live Music spring series possible.
For more information on Luck Reunion and the Long Live Music series and how to donate to Musically Fed, visit http://luckreunion.com/longlivemusic. ‘Til next time, my fellow music lovers!
Leigh is a native Texan gone temporary New Yorker and now proud Austinite. Passions include but are not limited to music (both as a spectator and dabbler), traveling & cultural adventures, film & television, true crime, design (of the fashion, interior, and graphic sorts), and photographing & writing about all the aforementioned. Self-acclaimed coffee connoisseur & wino, cat aficionado, book worm, and nature junkie.