John Prine
In an effort to engage local music lovers, the State Theatre is presenting a livesteam tribute concert to legendary singer-songwriter John Prine on Wednesday, May 5. 
 
The event is free and runs from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., and is available through the the State Theatre of Ithaca's Facebook and YouTube pages. It coincides with “GivingTuesdayNow," an International Day of Global Action for giving and unity in response to COVID-19, stated a press release announcing the event. Though the concert is free to watch, the non-profit State Theatre, which relies on ticket sales and community contributions to operate, is accepting donations through its website. It has been unable to host shows since social distancing guidelines went into effect mid-way through March. 
 
Prine, a beloved folk and country singer, died on April 7 as a result of COVID-19 complications. He had performed twice at the State Theatre over the last decade. Delivering cover performances of his songs will be a wide array of local stalwarts and nationally known acts: Ithaca –based musicians scheduled to play include Johnny Dowd, Maddy Walsh & Mike Suave, Sim Redmond, Joe Crookston, Ted Walsh and Francesco Raponi. With help from DSP Shows, the concert will also feature performances by Rhett Miller (Old 97s), Ketch Secor (Old Crow Medicine Show), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Erin Rae, and Hiss Golden Messenger.
 
“Promoters like DSP Shows and venues like The State Theatre of Ithaca were the first to close and will be the last to re-open," said Dan Smalls, president and founder of DSP Shows. "As we wait this out, it has been hard to just be rescheduling shows we are not sure will even happen on the rescheduled dates because no one really knows how this all ends. So having this project to work on has been a welcome chance to feel some level of accomplishment during this rough patch.  We will survive this and come out stronger on the other side.  After all, life is about coming together and what better way than through live entertainment.”
 
Executive Director Doug Levine explains, “With shows canceled from mid-March through the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, The State Theatre has also lost all additional revenue generated from concessions/bar sales, ticket sales, and sponsorships.  Our 10th Annual 'Benefit My State' fundraising concert was originally slated to take place at the end of this week. Like so many businesses throughout the country and the world, we have had to furlough employees, cut costs, and find new ways to stay afloat during this difficult and unprecedented time.”
 
Levine continues, “We were thrilled to host John Prine at The State Theatre two times over the past decade.  All of us were deeply saddened when we learned of his passing. We’d love to do something to celebrate his life and music at the Theatre, but can’t right now for obvious reasons.  We decided to use our resources and assemble an online Tribute Concert for Mr. Prine and his music.  We hope people get some joy out of it during this difficult time. “GivingTuesdayNow” is a day that encourages the world to all come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give back. Hopefully, some folks will decide to give a little back to the theatre as well.”

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