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This Month, Delaware Music Festivals Are Going Virtual

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A scene from the 2019 Ladybug Festival./Photo by Moonloop Photography

Delawareans can rock out from home as the Ladybug Music Festival and Clifford Brown Jazz Festival take center stage on their computer screens.


Summer in the First State typically features an abundance of music and food festivals. And this summer will be no different—except for the fact that performances that would have been held in front of vast crowds will now be held right in Delawareans’ homes.

Two popular Wilmington music festivals are going virtual this month, giving fans the opportunity to still celebrate great music. The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival is currently running from June 24-27, and the Ladybug Music Festival will run from June 29-30, both streaming their planned performances live through the online platforms of GoPassage and YouTube, respectively.

“[When COVID-19 hit] it brought us close to the edge,” says Jeremy Hebbel, co-owner of Gable Music Ventures LLC, one of the sponsors for the Ladybug Music Festival. “However, our partners allowed for us to look for creative solutions to get us back on our feet again [including] putting this year’s festival online, and eventually clear opportunities for larger crowds and performances in the future.”

The Ladybug Music Festival, which has been celebrating women in music both on and off the stage since 2012, has adapted to the uncertainty of the times by continuing to go on with the show from afar. Featuring a variety of well-known acts from across the nation, artists like KT Tunstall, Vanessa Carlton and Keri Hilson will appear through virtual performances over a two-day period.

The 2020 Ladybug Music Festival is going virtual. Pictured above: the event in 2019./Photo by Moonloop Photography

Similarly, the 33rd annual Clifford Jazz Festival, featuring 15 bands and over 80 artists over four days of live music, has also taken advantage of livestream performances for their audiences. Both events will also be able to raise donations for local small businesses and the local music community.

In collaboration with Jet Phynx Films, a Wilmington-based virtual creative agency, these festivals are planning to emit the same energy as an in-person concert series, but from all from a safe, comfortable distance.

“[Prior to the pandemic] we already met with Jet Phynx Films to discuss the possibility of recording the festivals live for audiences to watch online,” Hebbel says. “When the pandemic hit, we turned the conversation of putting Ladybug on an online platform as a digital festival, what it would look like, and what the response would be like.”

For the festival organizers, there’s a source of hope by being able to pivot the events. Not only by offering an escape through music, but by also providing a light for the local community.

“We hope that, in the future, we will be safe and respectful of one another to still provide entertainment to larger crowds,” Hebbel says. “We hope to continue providing something for audiences to look forward to in these dark times.”

For more information about the Ladybug Music Festival or to register, go to theladybugfestival.com.

For more information about the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival or to watch the livestream performances, go to cliffordbrownjazzfest.org.

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