Jacksonville band holding virtual concert to help Riverside Arts Market

On a typical Saturday, hundreds of people can be seen at the Riverside Arts Market, but with the safer-at-home proclamation, it’s been shut down.

It has cost vendors and the market plenty of money, but on Thursday night, the Jacksonville band 77ds hopes to help.

“They’re nonprofit, they need to keep money coming in,” said Darren Ronan with 77ds. “They’re very generous and they’re going to give some of the money to musicians doing it, but really it’s about keeping RAM alive.”

The band will hold the concert via Facebook. It’s calling the concert RAM Aid, and it’ll be broadcast live from Ronan’s Music School in Avondale.

“We’re certainly aware that they’re losing income they’re not able to perform, so we wanted to offer them a venue that would be a win-win situation, both help the musicians and help Riverside Avondale preservation and the Riverside Arts Market, so we’re looking at a 50/50 split with donations," said John Silviera, Riverside Arts Market senior manager.

Silveria says that this is likely to be the first of several virtual events that will help artists and creators raise money and that once it’s safe, the market can return to normal, or as normal as possible.

“RAM is really a turnkey event that probably can open within 48 hours once we get the green light to do that," he said. "We know it’s going to be different, you know, we’re ready to open in a takeaway environment where there’s not any gathering in, and we can provide a large enough area for people to take care of themselves and and adhere to the social distancing.”

For Ronans's part, the market is an important part of his life. Not just as a performer, but also as a neighborhood resident and business owner.

“I love the facts that RAM gives an outlet for people to share their creations, whether it’s music or soap or dog food or anything.”

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