Live music is a $10B industry and growing.

 

Why We Support Addiction Recovery

Live music is a $10B industry and growing. 

Ever since the near-collapse of the recording industry in the early 2000s, there has been a dramatic shift to artists & musicians making their primary income from their live performances. Industry trends predict a revenue increase of 20% by the end of the decade.

While that is great news and we like to believe that it’s all about the music, there is an undeniable truth that the live-performance industry revolves around the sale of alcohol. Whether it’s a large music festival or a small hotel bar, there is seldom a musical performance that is not within earshot of alcohol service. We believe that in order to truly support our musicians, it is essential to support addiction recovery.

Austin has so many great resources for addiction recovery and several with a specific focus on our musician population. Most notable among those is the SIMS Foundation, which offers mental health and addiction recovery services to Austin musicians, music industry professionals, and their families. We are partnered locally with SIMS and Gibson Guitar on the MusiCares® Sober Jam, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Read on to learn more about the Sober Jam and check out our feature video on Grammy.com.

 

 

 

 

 

The MusiCares Sober Jam…

The MusiCares® Sober Jam is a showcase of courage.

On the last Monday of most months here in Austin, over 30 musicians take the stage at Gibson Guitar’s private showroom. For many of them it is their first time ever performing in public; for others it may be their first time ever performing sober. While many of the attendees are active in drug & alcohol recovery, the spirit of the event is to support musicians in overcoming stage fright and performance anxiety.

The event begins at 7pm with an Open Jam, allowing guests time to arrive, mingle and find their way to a seat. At 8pm, we transition to a seated listening room with open-mic-style performances (solo or with a band). For Brandon DeMaris, the Emcee of the event, it is incredibly moving to witness & support musicians who are facing their fears and embracing the vulnerability that is inherent to live performance, particularly without the buffer of drugs or alcohol.

Each event concludes with an unannounced “special guest performer” who has significant experience performing sober. Past special guests have included Matt the Electrician, Chris Gates, Nakia, Emily Wolfe, and Amy Cook, each with their own stories, music, and experiences to share.  What better note to end on than a living example of accomplished musicians.

 

But don’t just take our word for it, come join us!

Every Monday
MusiCares Sober Jam
presented by the SIMS Foundation

Gibson Austin Showroom
3601 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, Texas 78704
Doors at 7pm

 

Artist Spotlight: Emily Wolfe

Emily Wolfe is a hugely talented musician who almost lost her career and her life to alcohol. As her star continues to rise, she is transparent and generous in sharing her story of getting and staying sober. We caught up with her for a quick Q & A:

What has been biggest difference for you as an artist now that you are sober?

The biggest difference in being a sober artist is my energy level and drive. Instead of going to a dark place when an inevitable speed bump in my career pops up, I push through and try harder, and pivot to a solution when unexpected changes arise.

As your career continues to develop, you’ll be spending more time away from home.  Tell us about your support system.

What keeps me going is having a solid support system in the players of my rhythm section. There is temptation at every venue I play, but it really helps that my bassist and drummer have my back on the sobriety front. I’ve got some amazing and supportive people in my life. That on top of trying my best to flip the switch in my brain that says “drinking isn’t something you can do if you want to have a career in music.” The people around me really help me do that, especially my partner, Brittany.

What are you most looking forward to?

I’m most looking forward to a single release in the coming months. For the last year, I’ve been through some treacherous waters just trying to put music out. But I finally have something in the works and I believe it will be very special.

Watch and read more about Emily’s recovery in this gut-wrenching profile.