At some point in their career, your favorite local band or musician may have had to deal with the heartbreak of low turnout at a show. Local music fanatics Rylie Saunders and Kevin Repay employed the help of local artists Scott Miller and Joey Senft to tackle this problem in their own way: by creating the Village Idiots, a local group dedicated to promoting and sharing local music.
The Village Idiots have brought performances by local musicians into the comfort of people’s living rooms. Since early November, every Wednesday at 8 p.m., the Village Idiots post a Facebook livestream called Live at the Roslyn from their apartment. The stream is public. Anyone can tune in and enjoy the music without worrying about cover for the show or even needing to get out of their pyjamas.
The show resembles a Wayne’s World-esque variety show, with sketch humour, joking references to the show’s sponsors, and interaction with audiences’ live comments, featuring shout-outs to friends, family, and strangers from across Winnipeg and beyond.
Before hosting their first live show, one thing the Village Idiots noticed was that shows fronted by fantastic local musicians were not nearly as full as they should be. So, they began their current project and quickly found it was gaining traction, with nearly 150 people sharing and over 8,000 viewing Micah Erenberg’s performance in their fourth week.
“It started out as an idea and Scott finally gave me the kick in the ass I needed and told me to stop thinking about it and just do it,” said Saunders.
“One thing we noticed is that lots of artists aren’t going to each other’s shows because they have never heard of them before.”
The show has gathered a fanbase which brings together artists and fans of rock, folk, and country music. With a goal of promoting artists and their upcoming shows, Live at the Roslyn exposes music lovers to artists and bands of diverse music backgrounds.
“We had someone drop out recently and I had just happened to go to Micah [Erenberg]’s CD release show. I had never spoken to him until last week and he agreed to be on the show. Now all my friends are going to be exposed to music they would have never heard before and they don’t even have to pay cover or leave their living room,” said Saunders.
Check out the Village Idiots’ shows on their Facebook page every Wednesday at 8 p.m.