Blues Cove holds many good memories for me. I loved to sail right into the dock here and listen to some of the best live music Second Life had to offer. It seemed appropriate, therefore, that this should be our first featured venue.
I caught up with the much loved and highly respected owner Aqua Willowind as she prepared for an event.
Michael: Thank you soo much for taking time out to do this interview with Toggle For Music.
First up - You (usually)come over as a sane, balanced kind of individual - how on earth did you get involved in the crazy world of Second Life?
Aqua: It was accidental , I was partnered at the time to someone who is passionate about The blues, He had an idea to have a small Blues place , just to have friends to enjoy the Blues , very casual. We each had our own lands and mine was prettier so he built there .
The small place became a big Warehouse and Dock. He was a very good builder and had an eye for detail so it was a pretty amazing build which is there now , the same after 9 years. And then the fun started. We were both platform hermits , builders..
We had an opening night , Halloween , with 2 DJ's William found , and they were Awesome , but American , so I got up at 2 am in the morning to do it. The opening night could not have been better. But. They left for a more established club and William had to do more and more real life .That first night gave me a taste for music and club world. I tried different ways , DJ's , being a novice and new club , it was hard to get things going.
Then one day, I went to Franks and heard my first LIVE singer who blew me away. I cheekily asked if he would do a show at my place. He came . Looked and liked what he saw. He also bought his friends in , and the first set of LIVE shows in The Blues Cove was born. It was great fun , all jamming together on the pallet stage on the dock. Very slowly other singers came in and we had more and more shows. And it was FUN:) And I was hooked. This Singer from Franks was Miha Shamen, he has been my mentor and friend ever since
Michael: In your early SL days did you plan - or even envisage - owning a successful music venue ?
Aqua: No never. In my first year of second life , I went to DJ shows and Franks and Sweethearts, but I knew nothing of Live music. I loved building , getting lost in creating.I would buy houses and trash them to see how they were built That was my pull for being in Second life.. I never imagined having a music Venue , where it would go. Never:))
Michael: So how did it happen?
Aqua: Most of that is answered in the first question. I had a successful business in Real life and used my knowledge to build the shows in Blues Cove. Slowly. I'm known to be tenacious
Michael: So here you are now - so tell me all about Blues Cove now please.
Aqua: The Blues Cove is a small Venue mainly for LIVE musicians with a variety of music genre. I try , where possible to bring The Blues into it. We have a Blues Stream maintained by William Wilcox with music chosen from his personal library, Sometimes he will put one of our artists on the stream. The Club is built on love , love of music , love for the artists who give us their music. Love of the awesome ladies who host and most of all , most important of all , love for the guests who visit and enjoy the music.
The Venue is also built on the open water leading to the Blake sea, allowing Sailors to bring boats in or pilots to land their helicopters. I have plans in mind to expand more into the sailing combined with music , a small race or cruise piling people into boats and having a whole bunch of fun , maybe ending with a show with a LIVE artist.
I try to remember who we are , to keep it Down to Earth and Simple , A simple love of music and people..
Michael: There must have been a few high points and low points along the way?
Aqua: Yes indeed. The High point was definitely winning The 2015 LIVE Blues Music Venue, Something which couldn't have been done without others , the artists , hosts , guests , without Friends it would not have happened. Their support is beyond value.
Another high point is being asked to take a whole set of shows to The Relay for Life Expo under the umbrella of The Blues Cove Sponsorship . This , for us , is such an honour , The RLFL team do so much in aid of the search for a cure for Cancer.
The Low points? There have been a lot. Managing a Venue is not for the faint hearted , it doesn't come without heartbreak.. I've lost special friends and made special friends .It leaves little time for successful relationships , or ANY relationship.. Which is definitely a down side... I appreciate the few close friends who put up with me.. This is secondliife where cultures , opinions and people collide , ending in disaster sometimes , but it's those same differences which make it magical . What can be more magical than listening to a singer from another part of the world in your living room? Or talking to guests from far flung places and learning about their lives.
Michael: You know the Second Life live music industry inside out by now. Do you feel it is in a healthy state at this moment in time ? If you could do one thing to improve it - what would it be?
Aqua: Yes I DO think it's in a healthy state. There is a few who wouldn't agree , but it's progress , you have to move with it and adapt. The choice is amazing and has to be a good thing. One of my favourite places is a blues DJ club which hasn't changed it's style in 14 years and going strong , another favourite is a more new Venue holding LIVE events in stunning ever changing settings .We have more musicians than ever in Second life , some is due to the pandemic going on. Patrons have more choice of Venues which are opening up all the time , Amazing and beautiful Venues holding so many style of events... I appreciate the hard work that goes into providing these styles.. I visit a lot myself , and go to as many shows as I can , as much as time will allow. I'm on European time and would love to stay up in American time , go visit all the shows happening then. You have to sleep sometime:)
Michael: I must say your optimism is striking! Are there things that irk you ? (aside from annoying interviewers)
Aqua: I like politeness, a lot .Kindness and tolerance. So if I go to a Venue and I'm ignored , that's irksome. A few owners missed out on the Etiquette notecard . I also find owners or staff who park their person and then go AFK for the rest of time . That's irksome and I don't see the point.
Michael: At Toggle For Music we are now a month into our crusade, with our blog, to promote SL live music in any way we can. Could you give us any advice on ways we could go about this?
Aqua: I can't think of any way, The team is doing an amazing job .
Michael: Thank You!
Footnote: Soon after this interview Aqua agreed to join the Toggle For Music team, where she is now a regular blogger. Welcome on board Aqua!!
MichaelJ Rossini Apr 2021