It's been nearly a year since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and put the entire live music industry on indefinite pause. As musicians and DJs have had to pivot to virtual concerts or livestreams for hungry fans, with some of the highest-budget productions becoming costly technological and studio set marvels, Vans has now introduced a new initiative that will provide one more virtual platform for artists.
Officially launched on February 8, Channel 66 is described as a modern hybrid of community radio and public access TV: a livestream network spanning four major cities that will broadcast sets from your favorite artists every weekday from 11 a.m. ET to 8 p.m. PT. Artists and creatives will be able to broadcast from one of Channel 66's physical studio locations in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, or Mexico City, and programming will range from "DJ sets, curated radio shows, talks, workshops, and musical performances across music, art, action sports, and community," a press release states. Every Friday night will also feature "marquee live performances and dance-oriented DJ sets."
Some already confirmed shows include Chessboxing with GZA, The Girl Ultra Show on music and fashion, New Direction New York Hardcore show with musician Walter Schreifels, Channel Interference by Afropunk, poetry and lyricism by Young Chicago Authors, and All Ages Show which will spotlight Los Angeles' rich DIY and punk scene. The four studio locations will also be opened up to local skate shops, restaurants, venues, and independent record labels.
Kicking off its inaugural week are DJ sets from Japanese Breakfast, Channel Tres, and Serena Isioma, which will begin streaming Wednesday at 8 a.m. PT. See the programming schedule below, and visit Channel 66 on the Vans website.