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Community Partners Hosting Virtual Concert Happy Hour During COVID-19

Release Date: March 19, 2020

Media Contacts:
Brandon Helgeson, Big Bang Companies: 507-271-6792
Karli McElroy, Rochester Downtown Alliance: 507-208-5739



Community Partners Hosting Virtual Concert Happy Hour During COVID-19

ROCHESTER, Minn.—Recreate the togetherness of a happy hour, support local businesses and artists, and donate to Channel One Regional Food Bank, all from home during COVID-19.

Virtual Happy Hour on March 20 is a virtual concert and happy hour series that aims to help support local businesses and area musicians and entertainers impacted by the COVID-19 situation. The event will also benefit Channel One, which will pay it forward to community members affected.

“The initial idea for a virtual concert came about as I was looking closer at how this [situation] was going to affect me and my contracted staff. I came to the realization of taking back control of things I could while helping others in my community in the process,” said Brandon Helgeson, owner of Big Bang Companies, executive director of the Olmsted County Free Fair, and executive director of Rochesterfest.

The public is invited to make this event a true happy hour by picking up a take-out meal or ordering delivery from a favorite downtown bar or restaurant and grabbing a growler to go. For a list of downtown businesses offering take-out, delivery, or other online services, visit

The March 20 Virtual Happy Hour featuring Sothea Lam is scheduled to be broadcast from 6 to 7:30 p.m. through Facebook live. People can donate to the concert’s artists and to Channel One with links to be provided through partners’ websites and social media. The Virtual Happy Hour is being planned as an ongoing series.

“This may seem like a straightforward concept but the simple collaboration between community partners who play to their strengths to create this event hopefully shows the community a sense of hope. My wish is we can help our fellow human beings and realize we’re all in this together, no matter who we are, what we do, or where we’re from. To see the best in this situation and not the worst,” said Helgeson.

Community partners involved include Big Bang Companies, Rochesterfest, Olmsted County Fair, and the Rochester Downtown Alliance.


About the Rochester Downtown Alliance
The Rochester Downtown Alliance is a nonprofit corporation comprised of a broad range of people representing property owners, business leaders, the city and others with a direct stake in enhanced business and economic development conditions in the downtown district. We work together to build a vibrant downtown community. We believe a strong core positively impacts the greater city of Rochester. Through a series of special events, activities, and initiatives, we create energy, excitement, and a unique character to Downtown Rochester, Minnesota.