HIBBING, Minn. — While bars and arenas have been closed down in most states, it's been challenging for some musicians to find places to show their talents.
Because of this, two men from Hibbing started an online hub where singers could find their voices: the "Lockdown Lounge."
For one of those men, Ray Pierce Jr., the Facebook group started as something small.
"We'd figure we'd have a few of our friend musicians that we've known over years jump on, but then all of a sudden it was a thousand (people), then the next thing we knew it was 2,000," he said.
That 2,000 eventually grew to more than 10,000 in just two weeks.
Most members in the group are from Minnesota, but the reach extends nationwide, and also to countries including Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Ricky Halverson, who lives in Fargo and is originally from Hibbing, said he's glad to be a part of the group's growth after not being able to sing at places like Drumconrath Brewing because of COVID-19 concerns.
"If I can brighten just one person's day, that's good enough for me, so 10,000 people, you can reach all of them," Halverson said. "That's a lot of victories."
As these 10,000 voices sing through computer and phone screens, some members said sharing the music this way is just as good as doing it in person.
"In a time that we can't all physically be together, I've never felt more close to 10,000 people in my life," said Michael Grove, who helped start the group with Pierce.
Whether you use your voice or just an instrument like a ukulele or accordion, those in the group said any way to spread positivity is a great one.
"Some of us may be a professional caliber, some may be beginning, but we're all here to kind of encourage each other and build each other up," Halverson said. "It's a brother- and sisterhood."