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Music in Minnesota: Photographer shows how artists are adapting to the pandemic

It's an uncertain time for most and Minnesota’s artists and musicians are among those thrown into the disarray caused by the pandemic.

Amateur musician Dana Farmer thinks you should check out the new Facebook group “Livestream Cover Challenge.” Local musician Joe Scarpellino started the group as a way to pass the time during the coronavirus pandemic. How it works: Musicians challenge each other to cover songs, and then the person who has been challenged has 24 hours to respond with a performance. In just a few weeks, the group has grown to more than 25,000 musicians, both professional and amateur, and Farmer says the vibe is wonderfully supportive and enthusiastic.

"Thousands of musicians have turned to Facebook to share live music and spread positivity. Within just two weeks, the Facebook group Livestream Cover Challenge! already has over 20,000 members. The group was organized by Minneapolis musician Joe Scarpellino, who plays in a number of local bands including Dead Larry and IronStar." - Colleen Cowie (The Current Local Blog)

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"One clever entrepreneur, Joe Scarpellino, has been hosting online streaming festivals and finding creative ways to engage huge audiences. Tori Johnson has kept up her salt side hustle, delivering all over the cities." - Tom Smouse


Smokin' Joe Scarpellino is a Twin Cities based musician and mastermind behind the Galactic Getdown music festival. In response to the mass shuttering of bars and music venues, he created the "Livestream Cover Challenge", a Facebook group where regional musicians request their friends to play songs and perform them live online within 24 hours. Scarpellino talks with Will Moore about how the page has ballooned to nearly 20,000 followers, and how it benefits musicians and engages fans.


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