ORGANISERS of an initiative are planning a 24-hour online festival to help support grassroots musicians and venues affected by Covid-19.

Around 50 artists and bands have already put their names forward for Sofathon Singalong after rising bluesman Luke La Volpe launched the project with a gig streamed from his Bathgate home on the evening of March 18 – just hours after the idea was first mooted.

La Volpe nominated three other artists to play their own Sofathon Singalong shows over subsequent evenings: Glasgow singers Stephanie Cheape and Kitti whose streams have already gone live, and Greenock band Black Dove, who are set to support La Volpe at his rescheduled King Tut’s gig in September.

Those looking to take part in #SofathonSingalong’s marathon all-dayer on April 4 and their nightly streamed gigs don’t have to count on being nominated by someone else. And taking part in the all-dayer can be in addition to their own show on any other date. All they have to do is set up a live stream on their Instagram, Facebook or YouTube channels, play their gig and nominate three more artists to join in.

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Artists are asked to promote the #Fightback crowdfunder of the Music Venue Trust, an advocacy organising set up to support grassroots venues – a sector struggling long before the coronavirus outbreak.

“I’ve seen some big artists like Coldplay and Yungblud do their own online shows this week, which is great,” says Black Dove singer Josh Cunningham.

“They all started in grassroots venues like us so hopefully some of them will get involved if we nominate them and help the next generation of bands come through like they did.”

“The reason we’re artists is because of these venues,” says La Volpe. “If they disappear, you won’t get new artists.”

La Volpe’s Sofathon Singalong launch gig was the first time the singer-guitarist had streamed a gig. It was an easy decision to make after speaking earlier that day with Gordon Duncan, a well-kent face in music PR for more than 20 years.

“A few people had already contacted me, saying they would love to hear a few songs, and when Gordon contacted me it was perfect,” La Volpe says.

Duncan, whose clients include Lewis Capaldi, Amy Macdonald, Emeli Sande and Tom Walker, as well as impressive emerging names such as Joesef, had the idea on the morning of La Volpe’s gig.

“While a lot of big artists are doing their own streams, there’s also an opportunity here for grassroots bands and venues to help each other in what is a very difficult situation,” says Duncan.

For many of us, keeping working in some capacity is what’s helping us feel grounded at this time of unprecedented uncertainty.

“I know that applies to me and it applies to lots of musicians as well,” Duncan continues.

“Like me, they are all freelancers, which is a nightmare just now. For people just starting out, just starting to get a bit of headway, this has been an absolute tsunami which has knocked them back. The point here about Sofathon Singalong is about creating a community feeling and supporting each other.”

“Idle hands are the devil’s hands,” says La Volpe, who plays his second Sofathon Singalong gig tonight. “I know a lot of people in music just now who had things planned and are feeling low. Rather than just sitting in your room worrying about everything you’ve not got coming, this gives you something to focus on, something to work towards, something to get up for.”

Artists can register details of their Sofathon Singalong via the online form at

If you’d like to take part in the 24-hours of music on April 4, let them know in the form. This can be in addition to your own show on any other date.

For more info, please contact and see also #SofathonSingalong