Club Passim launches Keep Your Distance Fest to aid artist relief fund


You can turn out the lights at Club Passim, but you can’t turn off the music.

As Boston-area venues, restaurants, and businesses face mandated closures to hinder the spread of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Harvard Square venue has established two ways to keep the music scene active.

The first is a social-distancing-inspired endeavor called Keep Your Distance Fest, presented as a YouTube playlist of at-home musical performances. Due to numerous public-health-related show cancelations and postponements, many artists have taken to performing via livestream for their fans; keep Your Distance Fest bottles that energy and preserves it as a virtual music fest for folks at stuck at home.


Club Passim has also established the Passim Emergency Artist Relief (PEAR) Fund to provide grants of up to $500 for musicians who have lost income from COVID-19-related show cancelations, and are in “dire need of financial aid.” To qualify for funding, artists must have lost a show “due to COVID-19 precautions,” have performed at or taught at Club Passim in the last 10 years, and must be willing to participate in and share Keep Your Distance Fest.

“It’s been inspiring to witness the importance our community places on the contributions of musicians,” says Jim Wooster, executive director at Passim. “When we started canceling shows due to COVID-19, most of our ticket holders didn’t ask for a refund because they wanted the musicians to get paid. We know how much our audience cares about the artistic community. We established the Passim Emergency Artist Relief (PEAR) Fund so that everyone can help support musicians during this time of crisis.”

While Cambridge awaits the April re-opening of Club Passim, artists can apply for emergency funding here, and fans can make a tax-deductible donation to the PEAR Fund here. Hit up the venue for any addition info.