Will Dailey’s virtual bar tour raises money for staff of local music venues [updating]

Via Facebook

UPDATE April 2, 3:07 p.m.: A round of applause, please — Will Dailey wrapped up his Isolation Tour livestream series last night by raising $4,800 for East Boston music youth program ZUMIX, a figure aided by several individual donations from viewers and a pair of sizable contributions from The Foundation To Be Named Later ($1,500) and the Boston Red Sox ($1,000). That brings the rough total of the nine-show Isolation Tour to around $18,200. Well done to all involved, and especially Dailey.


UPDATE April 1, 7:57 a.m.: Will Dailey’s Isolation tour has now raised $13,380 in total for staff of local music venues. His virtual bar tour concludes tonight with a performance for music youth program ZUMIX in East Boston. Bravo, sir, bravo.


UPDATE March 30, 4:41 p.m.: Friday night’s performance for The Sinclair raised $2,000 for the Cambridge club’s bar staff; half the money was raised via donation, and the other matched by Makers Mark. Tonight, Dailey plays for Atwood’s Tavern, and on Wednesday this run wraps with a show for ZUMIX. As always, hit his socials (Instagram, Facebook) for updates and the performances themselves.


UPDATE March 27, 12:31 p.m.: Yup, we’re constantly updating this post, because we constantly have good news to relay. Last night’s Will Dailey performance raised $3,050 for Paradise Rock Club bar staff, a cause so loud even the Red Sox tweeted about it. Tonight Dailey performs for the staff of The Sinclair in Cambridge; keep it locked to his socials (Instagram, Facebook) for updates and performances.


UPDATE March 26, 12:23 p.m.: Last night’s performance raised $900 for The Plough & Stars in Cambridge. Daily tonight performs for the Paradise, and the goal is 1,000 people checking in and tipping $1 each. See below for the upcoming gigs beyond tonight.


UPDATE March 25, 1:01 p.m.: Will Dailey’s performance last night for Club Passim raised $1,000, bringing his total so far to around $5,500. “Tonight is 8 p.m. for The Plough and Stars and I am moving my stage to the shower,” Dailey tells us. “Everything sounds good in the shower.” After tonight, Dailey plays for The Paradise Rock Club (3/26), The Sinclair (3/27), Atwood’s Tavern (3/30), and ZUMIX (4/1).


UPDATE March 23, 6:29 a.m.: Sunday night, Will Dailey’s latest livestream performance, part of a series now called the Isolation Tour, raised $1,600 for The Burren Backroom Series and 24 Hour Concerts. His three shows, playing to raise money for staff of area live music venues, have raised more than $4,300 so far. Up next: Club Passim (3/24), The Plough & Stars (3/25), Paradise Rock Club (3/26), The Sinclair (3/27), Atwood’s Tavern (3/30), and ZUMIX (4/1). Hit his socials for the latest info.


UPDATE March 20, 9:57 a.m.: Will Dailey’s livestreamed show last night raised $2,051 for Toad in Cambridge. His next performance is Sunday at 2 p.m. local time, in support of The Burren Backroom crew and staff in Somerville. We’ll keep updating this post with the latest shows as Dailey confirms them; he’s planning on four virtual shows each week.


Will Dailey is giving us a reason to put our money where his mic is. And independent live music venues and bars around Boston are benefitting.

Yesterday (March 18), the singer-songwriter and veteran musician unveiled a virtual bar series, where he posts up and performs on a livestream as viewers make online donations, with one specific venue as that “show’s” benefactor, as if he was physically performing in that particular room. For the launch it was Great Scott, and Dailey’s performance on Instagram and Facebook Live raised $684 in donations, earmarked for the Allston club’s sound engineers, door staff, and bartenders. It vaulted the Great Scott and O’Brien’s GoFundMe page over its initial goal.

And Dailey’s tour is just getting started.

Tonight at 7 p.m, he’ll be playing live online to raise money for the bartenders at Toad in Cambridge, where all “tips” can be made through Venmo, PayPal, or Bandcamp downloads. This Sunday’s he’s playing for The Burren in Somerville at 2 p.m. The next three venues are lined up, to be unveiled as he goes along, and he’s exploring spots in other cities, and even countries, with a tour shirt, live bootlegs, and other merch to help raise even more coin.

“This all unfolded slowly for me because I had a 2020 tour in China coming together that fell through in late January,” Dailey tells Vanyaland. “I was set to travel to record but that was cancelled at the end of February. Any planning for mid summer to fall froze in its tracks last week. I don’t know when my next gig will be. I need to work now. Not only for money but also, my sanity. I keep in mind that the anxiety from all this can only be assuaged by focusing on the things that bring us peace.”

And Dailey is well aware of the inner workings of not just the Boston music scene, but any scene around the world, all tied together by an eco-system of people that extends far beyond the person up on stage playing music. It’s the staff — the door people, sound engineers, bartenders, merch slingers, and everyone else — who are drastically impacted by this current culture of isolation as we try to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).  

“Musicians lost their main source of income overnight, as did our allies who work at venues across the country,” Dailey says. “I think a lot of artists are used to shit hitting the fan and changing their trajectory. You’re aware there isn’t a safety net when music is your livelihood. To be tied into to the rooms that have meant something to me over the years felt like the most authentic way to connect and actually feel like a show. The relationship between music venue staff and band is symbiotic. We are all working to create a moment. The best shows of my life have always come at times when the audience is dialed in and when the venue is supporting you from the moment you drag in your amps to the moment you stumble out. That connection translates to the stage. That magic is temporarily unavailable but we will get back there.”