A GIFTED Winsford musician has pledged to support performers struggling without an income after pubs, clubs and venues have closed due to Covid-19.

Acoustic singer-songwriter Sam Lyon is trying to set up online interactive gigs on social media where people can buy digital tickets to watch artists perform live.

The 24-year-old has teamed up with Runcorn musician Gareth Heesom to find software that would make it possible for artists to link up, using their own laptop, webcams and microphones at home.

Self-taught guitarist dad-of-four Gareth, 41, writes his own songs and likes to play folk, country and American music.

Winsford Guardian:

Musician Gareth Heesom is collaborating with Sam Lyon to develop online interactive gigs

"Each week we will have three artists who will perform a 30 minute slot each, alongside a live Q&A," said Sam. "This will be hosted through an online conferencing platform so you can perform or watch from the comfort of your own home.

"The live chat will allow the audience to interact throughout the 'gig', asking questions and engaging with the artist, making the whole thing as intimate as possible."

Winsford Guardian:

Sam Lyon hopes to help artists who have lost their livelihoods Picture: Steve Thornhill

Tickets will be sold for a few pounds, or whatever people can afford, and the money could help artists who have lost their livelihoods.

"We're going to test the software and if it works we will set it up privately," said Sam. "We will post messages on social media with a link to a website where people can buy tickets. They will then get an email with a code to watch the gig.

"The money raised from digital ticket sales will then be split equally amongst all three acts.It might not be a lot but during these tough times it will be something to help us musicians keep going whilst all the real gigs are off."

Sam is an unsigned artist who prides herself on being unsigned, unpublished and her own manager.

Winsford Guardian:

Sam Lyon has suddenly lost her income as all her bookings have been cancelled Picture: Joel Gardner

After performing for 10 years, she has developed her own unique niche brand.

The prolific performer stages 250 gigs a year but has suddenly lost her income as all her bookings have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I've lost everything, weddings, festivals and private bookings," said Sam, who is self-employed. "I've got no money coming in but I've still got hundreds of pounds coming out every month with rent and bills. Fortunately, I've always been sensible with money so I've got a bit of savings to see me through so I won't be homeless.

"But a lot of people haven't had the chance to save and may be single parents or have young kids."

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Winsford Guardian:

Acoustic singer-songwriter Sam Lyon says she feels blessed to have her music to help her through the self-isolation Picture: Geoff Roughton

Despite the restrictions imposed by the virus and lack of income, she says, she feels blessed.

"We're very lucky as musicians to have our music and instruments to keep ourselves sane," said Sam. "I live in a flat and haven't got a garden.

"I'm just using my time as wisely as possible trying to stay productive, writing songs and looking for ideas to keep other musicians and freelances afloat.

"We've all got to look out for each other."

For more details visit samlyon,music.com or https://www.facebook.com/samlyonmusic/