Trafficking In a Currency of Hope: MC Freeman

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Between March 12 and March 15, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine banned all gatherings of more than 100 people in the state of Ohio and closed all Ohio restaurants and bars as a part of the state’s harm reduction efforts in containing the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the highly contagious coronavirus. As a result of this, nearly all regional music events have been canceled or postponed as to adhere to the order. 

Regional musicians are a part of the rarely discussed “gigging economy,” which is in disarray after the firm and fast movements on the part of the State over the past week. In this series, WOUB Culture is investigating the myriad of ways that these disorienting (but necessary) measures have impacted regional musicians. 

MC Freeman
MC Freeman, a.k.a. Peter Vilardi, a Columbus-based hip-hop act whose upcoming performances (including one at Donkey Coffee) have been canceled in the wake of concerns about the spread of COVID-19. (Submitted)

MC Freeman, a.k.a. Peter Vilardi, took the leap to become a full-time musician in early 2020, after nearly nine years of making music and four years of honing his skills in more specific ways. Vilardi has currently canceled all of his spring shows in order to adhere to decrees made at the state level to contain the spread of COVID-19. Vilardi is scrambling to find alternative ways to make ends meet while live music performance is not an option.

Vilardi spoke with WOUB about the creative ways in which the regional music industry is coping with this major blow to its infrastructure, and what he thinks these changes may ultimately bring to the long term wellbeing of the regional music scene.

Check out MC Freeman here: Facebook, Bandcamp. Check out his most recent release, hot singles in yr area, volume two, embedded above.