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Musician Brandon Moore recently performs on the Queen City Shout (Open Mic) Facebook group's page.
Photo provided by Queen City Shout
Musician Brandon Moore recently performs on the Queen City Shout (Open Mic) Facebook group's page.

Queen City Shout transitions to all-virtual event

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The 10th annual Queen City Shout music, film and art festival is still on for this year, but it will be an entirely virtual event in August.

Event founder Eddie Gumucio, a Springfield musician and educator, said the festival is being extended to a full week – Aug. 17-23 – to accommodate the 92 musical acts set to perform. Organizers previously planned to hold the event Aug. 20-23, with the format mixing live and online music performances, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

However, Gumucio said the number of COVID-19 cases recently increasing in Springfield, Greene County and the state contributed to the decision to not have performances in venues along Commercial Street, as originally planned. He also didn’t want to give volunteers extra tasks such as enforcing capacity or masking issues with attendees.

“It was always going to be day to day,” Gumucio said of determining the best format for this year’s festival. “At the end of the day, it was the socially responsible thing to do.”

As of this morning, there have been 529 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Greene County, according to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s coronavirus dashboard.

Gumucio has helped organize a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign for Queen City Shout with a $15,000 goal. The event has no admission fee this year, but organizers are encouraging online donations. He said outside of operating costs – which could reach as much as $1,500 this year for advertising and T-shirt printing – all proceeds go toward nonprofits for poverty relief efforts.

Organizers donated nearly $10,000 of last year’s $11,200 proceeds to nonprofits, such as Victory Mission and Community Partnership of the Ozarks Inc., Gumucio said.

Music acts will perform on Facebook Live via the QueenCityShout.com website as well as the Queen City Shout (Open Mic) Facebook group, which started offering livestreamed concerts March 19. Gumucio said the name of the Facebook group, which has over 6,100 members, would change to an as-yet-undetermined name prior to the festival.

“It’s evolving and changing literally day to day,” he said of festival offerings, which also will include movies and possibly virtual art galleries. “We’re adding programming as we go.”

He said canceling the event was not favored, based on conversations he had with musicians and others annually involved with Queen City Shout.

“It would be nice to see that it’s contributing at least a little bit to maybe easing people’s concerns and worries, and letting them relax and escape,” he said of the virtual event.

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