Had you told me back in March that I would find a community so caring, so thoughtful and so full of joy during the pandemic, an eyebrow would have been raised in your direction. However, if you’re hanging out with me today, at least 6 feet away in a socially distanced setting, asking me my thoughts on virtual events and the virtual world in general, you’d get no raised eyebrows, instead you’d probably get a 30 minute conversation about my conversion from “in person only” camp to “virtual can work… in some cases” camp.

It started back in March… March 26 I believe. Rocky and I tuned in for a live stream concert performed by Dave Matthews (did you honestly expect it was going to be anyone else). I texted a coworker that also loved Dave throughout the performance and she told me she was crying, I was almost crying, it was a beautiful experience we were having together, even if across town from each other .

Then the coworker situation imploded the next day and while it was all in my head, I felt like my connection to that team (even though we’ve texted and communicated QUITE a bit since then, it was raw at first). I turned to the online community of Dave Matthews Band fans. I happened upon a smallish group of them on Instagram. Their only connection was their love of the same band… and by love I mean LOVE. I started following along with what they were discussing, getting excited for concert streams that were being aired weekly (in place of a summer tour) and eventually interjecting myself into the conversation.

What I noticed was interesting. These people could not have been more different from one another. Take away their love for the same music, and I’m not sure I would have matched them all up as friends, but throw in the tunes, and this group is tight! We all connected as deeply as you can connect online over our favorite songs, over tough situations each might be going through, over celebrations of new jobs/new exercise bikes/virtual learning milestones for their kids. There was a kindness with this group that I had not experienced in person in years.


There is a meme that floats around the DMB community every now and then that reads “surround yourself with people who get it”.

That’s it.

This group gets it. They get why a certain song makes you cry. They get why a certain song gets you on your feet. They know which live version is your favorite and often times, they share that favorite with you. When they do meet in person, it’s like old friends seeing each other for the first time in years, but often, they are meeting in person for the first time.

It came to a head for me earlier this week. I posted a very heartfelt message about the state of the venue and entertainment industry. It was not a pity story, but rather one to make someone think more deeply about the broad impact that closing a venue has. You can go see the post here. A few people commented on it, some sending me messages thanking me for putting it into perspective, but those were expected. What wasn’t expected was the clip I was sent from someone in the DMB community that I’ve never met. It was a sound clip of her singing “Mercy” because my post moved her to the point of singing that song for me… “mercy will we overcome this… one by one could we turn it around… carry on just a little bit longer…”

I was so touched.

This person cared so deeply about my message and for me that she took the time to record this clip.

I was floored. And then I was reminded that I have surrounded myself with people who get it… even if virtually… and I can’t wait until we can all come together in the future and meet… and laugh… and cry… and love this music that brought us all together in person.

This new community is the silver lining in the pandemic.

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