Local musicians host virtual performances during coronavirus pandemic

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Julio Navarro and Matt Doda, known as ‘Batman and Batman,’ have been performing music on the Grand Strand for around 20 years. During the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, they’ve found a new way to perform.

“We were shut down dead in our tracks, right there with the service industry. We’re all suffering, so we’re trying to do our part to keep bringing music to everyone,” Navarro said.

The musicians began hosting performances on their couch on Facebook live after the venues they play at closed down. Their online audience can leave them virtual tips through Venmo. Recently, the singers have teamed up with restaurants and bars to livestream their performances on stage.

“Thank goodness for Facebook. It allows us to reach people right in front of them,” Dota said. “Five years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to do this.”

The duo has performed at live venues like Tin Roof in Myrtle Beach. General Manager, Jonathan Talbot says hosting the performances not only helps the musicians, but his staff.

“Anything we can do to try to generate traffic and revenue for our staff who’s struggling with everything. We’re just trying to come up with as many creative ideas, whether it be a virtual bartender performance, just to keep people entertained and not thinking about what’s going on,” Talbot said.

“To give (the musicians) an avenue or venue and say, ‘Hey, take our stage, do what you want to do, let’s have a performance and have some fun for an hour and a half and not think about things,’ they couldn’t be more thankful for, and we’re happy to participate,” Talbot said.

During livestreams, viewers can also send tips to bar staff, which Talbot says helps support them while business is slow.

“We’re trying to make do,” Doda said. “Hopefully we can do our job and keep them entertained on their couch instead of at a restaurant or bar.”

To send Julio Navarro a tip, venmo @Julio-Navarro-2.

To send Matt Doda a tip, venmo @Matt-Doda

To send Tin Roof staff a tip, venmo @TinRoofMyrtleBeach.

To keep up with a list of live performances, click here.

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