During much of the COVID-19 pandemic, Winter Harbor singer/songwriter Gordon Thomas Ward has been staging pop-up concerts to promote businesses free of charge. PHOTO COURTESY OF GORDON THOMAS WARD

Live from your business! Musician performs pop-up concerts online



WINTER HARBOR — Gordon Thomas Ward is determined to help his community. And he’s doing so through his music.

The Grammy-balloted, award-winning singer/songwriter has been holding “community concerts” throughout the pandemic, beginning in May 2020, where he performs in front of a virtual audience from a local business. And he wants to do more.

His hour-and-a-half shows start at 5:30 p.m. and include a 20-to 25-minute interview with the featured enterprise’s owner or organization’s director.

“This is all about helping local establishments bring more people into their stores during these strange, pandemic times,” Gordon said.

With the emphasis on increasing virtual visibility through the concerts, Gordon noted that some shopkeepers choose to allow a limited audience or no audience at all to attend in person.

The concerts, which Gordon does not charge for, are streamed on Facebook Live and posted to Gordon’s Facebook page.

“There is a core group that tune in every week and look forward to these shows,” the contemporary folk artist said. “So, there is a community that has been established around these concerts.” He added that 300 to 1,000 viewers tune in virtually each week.

Viewership increases when both Gordon and the business owner promote the event.

Gordon’s 48 shows have taken him to artists and businesses throughout the region, including The Bud Connection, Schoodic Institute and even from inside a coach car aboard the Downeast Scenic Railroad.

It goes a bit against what performers are used to — taking the stage before a live audience — but Gordon is determined to help stores showcase and ship their inventory to viewers who tune in, some from across the country, and he’s looking to add to his concert calendar.

Businesses interested in participating can contact Gordon by calling (908) 295-2391 and emailing [email protected].

Gordon doesn’t need much space to hold the concerts, just about 8 to 10 square feet, he said, and he will travel about an hour from his Winter Harbor home.

Businesses can visit https://gordonthomasward.com/ to view his concert calendar and check out his availability.

Rebecca Alley

Rebecca Alley

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Rebecca is the Schoodic-area reporter and covers the towns of Eastbrook, Franklin, Hancock, Lamoine, Sorrento, Sullivan, Waltham, Winter Harbor and Trenton. She lives in Ellsworth with her husband and baby boy who was joyously welcomed in June 2020. Feel free to send tips and story ideas to [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.