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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Arts + CultureMusicGet loud for the library! Submit to SFPL's 'Bay...

Get loud for the library! Submit to SFPL’s ‘Bay Beats’

The streaming site returns with a second submission period, March to May. Artists residing in Bay Area counties are invited to send in tunes

Last year, the San Francisco Public Library began a heartening project that has already made a significant contribution to the Bay Area music scene, a streaming site called Bay Beats that offers the city’s 460,000 library card holders local music for streaming and downloading. Now, SFPL has announced a second music submission period for Bay Beats (March 1-May 31) that’s open to all musicians who live in one of the nine Bay Area counties (see all guidelines here). 

The artists who are invited to participate in Bay Beats after submissions are reviewed will receive a $250 honorarium as well as valuable promotion and links on the SFPL’s widely-circulated newsletter and social media. Recipients are asked for non-exclusive rights to allow library card holders to stream or download their songs for free, so they can still sell their songs elsewhere if they want.

Razteria at last years Bay Beats showcase. Photo by Kit Castagne

We are so fortunate to have a program like this here in the Bay Area. At a time when national music outlets are dying or being kneecapped everywhere, it’s significant that some city libraries are making noise for music and local communities. This project is part of a larger movement happening across the United States. Spin published a story this week that highlights Bay Beats and other local music-centric efforts taking place at libraries across the country. (Libraries are rad.)

Last year, I was honored to serve on the community jury and help select artists to participate in Bay Beats. Reviewing the submissions that they sent to me, I couldn’t help but feel so heartened about the depth of musical talent that lives in our region. The category I reviewed also seemed to have a lot of educators, counselors, activists, and people who work with kids, and I thought that was incredible. I also listened to submissions in categories I wasn’t assigned to cover, and made some new favorites—even among artists that weren’t selected.

Nashville Honeymoon at last year’s Bay Beats showcase. Photo by Kit Castagne

I then got to DJ at the Bay Beats Launch Party on the Main Library steps last October; there may be future opportunities for selected artists to perform live. At the party, I played all Bay Area music in between sets by local acts Alison Faith Levy, Nashville Honeymoon, Tori Roze and the Hot Mess, Razteria, and gloomy june, and I also had the distinct privilege to spin for rapper and educator UnLearn The World. The SFPL Bookmobile gave away free brand new books (including a personal favorite called Dilla Time), too. It was a wonderful day. 

I’m proud to return to Bay Beats as a community juror alongside UnLearn The World, Sarah Cahill, Beth Custer, James Fei, Penelope Houston, David James, Emmanuel Nado, and Jesse “Chuy” Varela for this second season of submissions, and I encourage all local artists to submit in this round! More submission periods will follow in the future, but there’s no time like the present to participate.

Tamara is the publisher of California Eating and the founder of the new online Music Book Club.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

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