The red-eyed, twenty-foot paper mache shark that lives above the bar at Solana Beach’s famous Belly Up nightclub has been witness to countless jaw-dropping live shows in this intimate, 600 capacity live music venue—and the shark misses concerts just as much as the rest of us who are now sheltering-in-place. Today, to a sigh of relief from those with feet and those with fins, the Belly Up announced SharkBelly Festival, a new kind of festival featuring audio downloads direct from the Belly Up’s archives—a.k.a. the “shark’s belly”—available for purchase for a limited time, only at BellyUpLive.com.
Want to experience Macy Gray’s grooving set from December 15, 2015? Missed Charlie Musselwhite blow his world-famous blues harp on November 4, 2009 at Belly Up? Starting May 6th, and for only 90 days, music fans will be granted unprecedented access to professionally recorded sets from an remarkable and eclectic list of world-renowned artists like Rufus Wainwright, Toots and the Maytals, and The Blind Boys of Alabama — recorded completely live, with no overdubs, and mixed directly from the soundboard and two room mics. For only $7.99, roughly the price of a drink, fans can still enjoy the energy and passion of a live performance while all net proceeds from SharkBelly will directly support the Belly Up and the participating artists during this unprecedented time.
Full list of performances available May 6th:
Adolescents, Aggrolites, ALO, Anderson East, Arise Roots, Beats Antique, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Blind Boys of Alabama, Bob Schneider, Brothers Comatose, Built to Spill, Charlie Musselwhite, Don Carlos, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, English Beat, Eric Hutchinson & the Believers, Greyboy Allstars, The James Hunter Six, Jeff Daniels and the Ben Daniels Band, John Brown’s Body, Johnny Clegg, Junior Brown, Macy Gray, Marc Broussard, Motet, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Over The Rhine, Ozomatli, Rufus Wainwright, Save Ferris, Seun Kuti and Egypt 80, Skatalites, Soul Rebels, Tommy Castro & the Painkillers, Too Many Zooz, Toots and Maytals, Victoria Canal, The White Buffalo, X, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Zap Mama with Antibalas.
“With so many people reaching out to see what they could do to support us while the venue is closed, we felt this was a great time to focus on downloads because each download generates money immediately for the club and the artists,” said Chris Goldsmith, President of Belly Up Entertainment and multiple Grammy Award-winning producer. “The sound quality and the vibe captured in our room is undeniable. When we put out a few recordings right after we were shut down, the response we got from fans in Southern California, and around the world, was incredibly encouraging,” said Goldsmith. “As more and more artists agreed to the concept, we realized that this had the feeling of a very unique, global ‘festival,’ one that is maybe only possible in a time like this.”
What: SharkBelly Festival
When: May 6th (downloads available for 90 days)
How much: Download your favorite Belly Up live recordings for $7.99 each
Where does the money go? supports the Belly Up and the artists directly
Suggested tweet: “Missing live music? @BellyUpLive is releasing archival sets from their vault! All proceeds from #sharkbelly2020 supports Belly Up and artists!”
More About Belly Up: The Belly Up was opened in Solana Beach, CA, in 1974 with only a couple of mics and no stage. Over the years it became a frequent stop for legends like John Lee Hooker, Etta James, and BB King. Epic performances by Curtis Mayfield, George Clinton, The Neville Brothers, and Toots and Maytals also are a part of the club’s early legacy. Since then, many artists have stopped by on their way up the ladder, including No Doubt, Black Eyed Peas, Mumford and Sons, Childish Gambino, and many more. Major artists have done underplays at the venue in recent years, including The Killers, The Red Hot Chili Peppers (who also played the club for 200 people in 1985), Jimmy Buffet, Willie Nelson, Ben Harper, Damian Marley, and Tom Jones. And, perhaps most famously, the Rolling Stones played a private event there in 2015.