At a time when streaming is the only way to experience live music, musicians from around the world are grabbing slices of bandwidth. It’s reached the point where it’s impossible to keep track of who’s playing when.
Striding boldly into that organizational tangle is All Day I Stream. Similar to the once-ubiquitous TV Guide channel, the site offers links to every livestreaming musical performance you can think of, laid out in a cleanly designed grid.
The volume of listings illustrates the prevalence of musical acts that are streaming. On a random Wednesday in April, you can catch Melissa Etheridge at 6 p.m. before moving on to Questlove at 8, followed by a dance party by Treasure Fingers at 9.
Launched April 17, the site has already connected with music consumers thanks to its weekly Zoom parties.
“On Saturday night for Desert Hearts, we reached the Zoom capacity of 500 people,” Steven Winnett, the site’s cofounder, reports. “I had to kick out the people who had their cameras off.”
Tuning in at the tail end of the event on Monday at 8 a.m., you wouldn’t expect to see much. The featured act, Porky, wasn’t providing much visual stimulation, just calmly manning the deck while taking an occasional swig from a can of energy drink. But swipe right and you saw 115 partiers on-camera. Some were dancing like madmen. A woman in Brooklyn was taking deep chugs from her wine bottle. And — wait — is that a pair of bare breasts motorboating the webcam?
Given the debauchery, it should surprise no one that Winnett, the mind behind the site, hails from Miami. What’s more surprising is that he works the night shift in a New York City hospital’s intensive care unit.
“I’m 305 till I die,” Winnett says by phone a half-hour before beginning his 7 p.m.-to-8 a.m. shift. “I rep Miami no matter what. I was born at Jackson Hospital. I worked at Jackson Hospital. I graduated in December from Florida International University with a doctorate of nursing practice and took a job in New York that started March 1.”
ICU nurse and All Day I Stream cofounder Steven Winnett.
Photo courtesy of Steven Winnett
The job as a nurse anesthetist was supposed to be a bit more chill than the ICU work Winnett had done for years. No weekends, no holidays — but COVID-19 put an end to that.
Two weeks into the job, his bosses in New York asked Winnett to help in the ICU, where he was quickly reminded that “intensive” is no exaggeration, he says.
“It’s very anxiety-driven. I don’t know what I’ll have to do each night, from putting breathing tubes in people to respiratory therapy to managing ventilators.”
Beyond the stressful, traumatic work, the 30-year-old was new to the city at a time when he couldn’t meet any friends. To add to his misery, he learned that his former boss at Jackson, Araceli Buendia Ilagan, was one of the first people in Miami to die of COVID-19.
It all got to be too much. Winnett wrote a post on Facebook expressing the vulnerabilities he was feeling. The next morning, after another night shift, he watched a 22-minute video his friends made for him to show their support.
“I was crying; I was laughing; I was doing both at the same time,” he recounts. “I made a plan with these friends: Let’s do something together every day even though we can’t really be together.”
That night, Winnett and his friends livestreamed a set by DJ Mikey Lion on Zoom, which left the group eager to do it all over again.
“We all started talking about the next thing to stream. We made an Excel spreadsheet of all the streams, and then it became: Why don’t we make a website?”
Thus was born All Day I Stream.
In the days since its launch, the site has far exceeded Winnett’s and his friends’ wildest expectations.
“We’ve already had artists we’re huge fans of reach out to us to post their streams,” he says, name-checking Gene Farris, Blond:Ish, and the DJ who indirectly inspired it all, Mikey Lion. But it hasn’t been just musicians who’ve found the site; it’s also been listeners.
“The first weekend, we had a Zoom party that started Friday night and was going to go all weekend,” Winnett says. “We didn’t realize that after 40 hours, Zoom rooms die. We had 150 people on when it died. After five minutes, I figured how to turn it back on — and we immediately had 75 people back on.”
A profile in Rolling Stone garnered yet more interest for All Day I Stream. The increased exposure has Winnett wondering the number of people who’ll show up for the next Zoom event.
The virtual gatherings have already gotten somewhat out of control. Just to access the room, users must click a waiver confirming they’re 18 or older. Winnett says he tries to chaperone the room for feeds that are too wild.
“It starts PG-13. Then, when the sun goes down, it gets rated R. Then, when everyone tries to one-up each other, it can become X-rated,” he says.
It’s not all hedonism, however. During this solitary time, some friendships have formed in the site’s Zoom event.
“I’ve had people tell me they met their new besties over the chat,” Winnett says.