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Local musicians and businesses make a comeback after slow year

Published: Feb. 20, 2021 at 10:43 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -

When the pandemic began in Florida in March of last year, local musicians like Sean Williams were suddenly out of work.

“It was very hard at first,” said local musician Sean Williams.

For months, music venues and bars were closed.

“There was a lot of uncertainty and we didn’t have music for quite a while,” said Justin Buxton, owner of Finn’s Island Style Grub.

As venues shut their doors, musicians lost out on opportunities to play live music.

“Some of them have second, third jobs, but this is definitely a source of income, we have so much talent in this area,” said Buxton.

People like Williams had to find new ways to play.

“I was able to reach out to streaming like TikTok, mostly TikTok and I was able to gain more contacts through that,” said Williams.

Now as most restaurants and venues are back open, the music is back.

Williams said taking advantage of social media during the height of the pandemic helped him get more opportunities.

“Giving 15 seconds, 60 seconds on a TikTok or any kind of viral video or anything on streaming platforms you get that sense of, ‘well here’s my performance, what are you going to do about it now?’” said Williams.

Places like Little Village are looking forward to having more live music and more visitors this year.

“I think if we’re safe and smart about it and just really practice the guidelines but still just, like I said, enjoy each other and respect each other’s space... I think we’re going to have a great year despite the circumstances,” said Buxton.

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