How to Support Your Local Music Community From a Responsible Social Distance

Words by Dan Sodomka
Photos by Dan Sodomka, Doug Indrick & Others

There’s slightly less music venues here in Seattle than there are seagulls. This is an amazing thing especially considering the noises belting out of them tend to be a bit more pleasant. Normally around 8pm if you stroll down to the bar district in most neighborhoods you will hear a spattering of base and reverb fading in and out, echoing off the neighboring building as the doors swing open. If you venture in you will most likely find a handful of kind folks full of colorful dreams with a smile on their face and a drink in their hand. Independent Venus are a sanctuary for these people and a breeding ground for community, support, and collaboration. Now the streets may be quiet and empty but behind the boarded windows and brick still chirps the remembrance of how music will always thrive and bringing people together especially in difficult times.

Here are some ways we can keep the blood pumping strong in the music community from at least a six foot distance.

Support Venues

  • Be an Advocate – Help remind the world and spread the message to support these places. In WA we have the WANMA an association that supports some of the best venues in Seattle. is a great resource on how to reach out to your state representative to ask for government relief. 
  • Donate – Donate directly to your favorite local venue or their employee relief fund
  • Buy What You Can – If they sell food, order carry out, get some merch or gift cards from their website.

Support the Artist

  • Buy Music/Merch – Track down their website or other independent musician sources. Band camp is a good choice as they are waiving fees and urging direct support of musicians right now.
  • Follow, Share, and Watch – live streams on social media.
  • Add their music to your playlists and plan to go to shows when the storm clears!

Friend of Wayward, small time song writer, and a self-proclaimed local music hungry hungry hippo Dan Sodomka connected us with some local independent songwriters. These generous artists are offering to trade us some much needed stress relief, in the form of musical therapy, in exchange for bringing awareness on how to support some favorite grass roots music venues in the Seattle area.

Many thanks to the songwriters that played a tune for the mini benefit concert on our IGTV.     


Dan Sodomka

Jessie Thoreson

Sean Croizier 

Gabriel DeLayne

A Strange Bird

Here are some local favorite grass roots music venues and ways to support them directly.

– Conor Byrne Pub in Ballard –

Home of the best open mic in town, which is a free Sunday night sample platter of great local songwriters.  Buy a gift card and look forward to muddled whiskey gingers and some musical treats to accompany.

Also consider donating to the go fund me set up to float the fine staff of this historic establishment.

– Fremont Abbey Arts Center –

Abbey Arts produces events that focus on the beauty of live music and the arts. Embracing the idea that music & art events help people take time away from the busy distractions of daily life, put down their digital devices, and really engage in an experience. Here is how you can look out for this amazing organization and the people making it happen.

– Sunset Tavern in Ballard – 

This venue has been supporting independent emerging artists for over 20 years and plays a vital role for independent artists. A go fund me has been set up to help your amazing staff at the Sunset cover their basic living costs.

– Tims Tavern – 

Tims is usually the place for live music every night in Greenwood and is asking for just a $3 donation. Heck, the bartender’s wise cracks are worth that alone.


– Black Dog Arts Cafe –

The venue sure to make you feel welcome and cozy is also a cafe. It is the place in Northbend/Snoqualmie to get some all time rice bowls and tacos when in the mountains. You can still order food and shop their online store for gift cards and merch.

– Stoneway Cafe –

Order takeout, they have one of the best breakfast burritos in the neighborhood. You can feel full and good about supporting local music and you don’t need to wait for a table to open up.

There are so many amazing people and places out there supporting live and local music. Take some time today to say thank you in whatever way you can if live music has added any value to your life over the years. Soon enough we will once again experience the joys of seeing lines of barstools topped with smiling eyes and feel the music in our bones.

Until then, keep dancing.

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