The Haliburton County Folk Society will present a stay-at-home version of open stage on Saturday, Feb. 13.

In a press release, HCFS member Barrie Martin said audience members will watch from home and performers will do the same since musicians and spoken word artists will pre-record their performances.

“Using Zoom, these performances will then be mixed with a ‘live’ show on open stage night,” Martin said. He added that a master of ceremonies will orchestrate online interviews and the pre-recorded performances.

The Open Stage will also be streamed on Facebook for audience members not comfortable with Zoom.

Martin said pre-recorded performances are necessary because of the lack of decent internet upload speeds in the area. An upload speed of 5mbps is required to stream live music. He said a live performance would be considered if a performer’s internet speed can meet the required upload speed, or if it is a spoken word performance.

The Folk Society tried an outdoor Open Stage at Haliburton Highlands Brewing in September and then a live-streamed version in November. Recent COVID regulations and the lockdown require a new approach, however.

Anyone interested in performing can email haliburtonfolk@gmail.com or call Don Gage at 705-286-5085. All genres of music, poetry or spoken word are welcome. One to three songs per performer is the standard offering. Performers are asked to let the Folk Society know by Feb. 1 if interested in performing. Pre-recorded performances must be received before Feb. 12.

Martin said the COVID safe and compliant initiative is made possible by the efforts of Kate Hall, Don Gage and Eric Lilius.

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