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New project aims to revive live music and business in downtown Boise

After a quiet pandemic year, the Boise Revival Project is helping to turn up the volume of the music and the foot traffic in downtown Boise.

BOISE, Idaho — The pandemic meant no live music for most of 2020 and into 2021 as bars and restaurants closed down or went to curbside service. But now music is once again being heard in downtown Boise.

A brand new project is helping to turn up the volume of the music and the foot traffic. The Boise Revival Project is a coalition of businesses that recently formed to help bars, restaurants and musicians bounce back in downtown Boise.

The idea is to support musicians with gigs and businesses with live music as a draw.

"My desk overlooks Main Street so I've been watching Main Street this past year, and it's breaking my heart to see restaurants losing half their business, musicians not having the opportunity to perform and just the community not downtown right now," Boise Revival Project founder Melissa Brodt said. "It's kind of slowly coming back, but we felt that we had to work together as entrepreneurs and put our arms around the business owners, help the musicians, and it just kind of came to us as a revival and it's taken a life of its own."

Chad Lamar, bassist for the Bluegrass band High Pine Whiskey Yell, says it feels great to be able to perform live again.

"What's nice is when you see friends you haven't seen in the past year and you're meeting new folks and they're just ecstatic to be able to get out and enjoy live music and experience a restaurant or walk around downtown," Lamar said. "This is just incredible. It's a real boon. Not just for the musicians, but for the entire community."

High Pine Whiskey Yell performed Thursday night.

Tickets for the events are $10. That money goes to the musicians. The Boise Revival Project is also looking for sponsors to help pay the singers and bands.

The live music performances run through the summer on Thursday nights. Right now, they are being held at Firenza Pizza, but Brodt wants to grow the number of venues to support. You can see the line-up of artists and dates online here. 

Coming up this Sunday on Viewpoint, Brodt and Lamar talk about their hopes for what the Boise Revival Project could become and what it could mean for musicians and businesses. Viewpoint airs Sunday morning at 6:30 on KTVB.

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