Virtual concert company Topeka announced an in-person festival called Moon Crush at Miramar Beach, Florida from April 26 through May 1, 2021. Artists participating include Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Needtobreathe, The Revivalists, Grace Potter and more. Additional information and tickets are available at mooncrush.live.
The festival intends to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols by separating parties of guests inside safely distanced barrier-enclosed areas they’re calling “coves.” All attendees will have to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the festival, wear masks in public areas and sanitize their hands when possible.
Moon Crush is advertised as “A safely connected music vacation” and requires guests to stay in one of the 300+ private beachside condos or seaside resort rooms available to attend. There are no music-only passes available. Prices range from $750-$1450 per guest depending on the accommodations chosen, plus a $99 ticketing fee.
Topeka formed with the intention to maintain the connection between performers and virtual audiences by putting the attendees who pay for “front row seats” on screens in front of the musicians. Those attendees can audibly applaud and interact with the performers. Topeka also offers the opportunity for musicians to play events such as weddings virtually, demonstrated by Joshua Radin soundtracking a couple’s first dance in this CBS video about the company.
Jason Isbell has played shows through Topeka before. Isbell also announced a summer 2021 tour with Lucina Williams and played some Live From the Drive-In dates in October. At one of the Drive-In dates, they covered John Prine’s “Storm Windows.” Last week, Isbell quit the Country Music Association after they failed to recognize Prine or mention the influential songwriter’s passing. Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit put out their latest album Reunions in May.
Grace Potter was another one of many artists who paid tribute to Prine. In June, she released a new song called “Eachother” with the help of Jackson Browne, Marcus King, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig. In August, she played a concert for the Twilight Concerts On The Farm series.
Needtobreathe and The Revivalists both released albums this year, named Out of Body and Made in Muscle Shoals respectively. St. Paul & The Broken Bones released a full live recording from a 2019 performance, Live from Wichita.
Photo credit: Boston Lynn Schulz