Local entertainment venues stay busy with virtual events

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — Entertainment venues are just one of the many venues, hard hit by the pandemic.

It’s the era of going virtual… the Ashland Independent Film Festival and Randall Theatre say dedicated fans have kept their performances and films going, through the internet.

“We have changed platforms, we’re thoroughly ready to give our programming to not only our community, but across the nation on this platform,” said education coordinator for AIFF, Jana Carole.

When the pandemic hit, she says AIFF made the switch to host their annual festival online

“A festival like AIFF is fortunate to be able to find other alternatives,” said Carole.

AIFF says their 2020 festival exceeded viewership over the past year despite going virtual, but as the pandemic drags on, it says revenues are still down.

It says this is because one ticket purchased, could mean a whole household of viewers.

The Randall Theatre Company in Medford says it had to make similar changes, as it navigates entertainment in a virtual world.

“We’re basically taking the show online because that’s all we can do right now,” said artistic director, Kathy Wing.

She says the change has been odd for actors too, “We get energy from the live audience, and so, to not have that is definitely an adjustment, but we do gets lots of positive feedback from people who have watched the shows [online].”

Both say they hope the audience continues to deliver the applause, even its from their own living room.

“Just like our restaurants and local businesses, if we don’t fight hard to support them during this pandemic, they won’t be there at the other side,” said Carole.

To purchase tickets or view upcoming films or performances, visit ashlandfilm.org and randalltheatre.com.

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Mariah Mills
NBC5 News reporter Mariah Mills is a Medford native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor's Degree in journalism. She also minored in sociology. In school, she covered Oregon athletics for the student-run television station, Duck TV. When she's not reporting, she’s reading, hiking and rooting for her favorite teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Oregon Ducks.