Local singer-songwriter Olivia Farabaugh is one of the many people whose careers and lives have been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following her audition for Season 10 of TV talent show “The Voice” in 2016, her career has taken off. So far, she has released three EPs and is set to release another, titled “Your Heart of Gold” this summer.

Olivia Farabaugh’s EP’s to date
Prisoner of War (2015)
Soakin’ Up Sunshine (2016)
Memories to Melodies (2017)

“[The audition] really opened my eyes even more to the goals I want to accomplish and gave some more credibility to my name,” said Farabaugh. “Things have been really going well, so I’m fortunate in that. It’s been an adventure so far.”

While her roots are in Lebanon County, Farabaugh typically travels to Nashville about every other month to do writing and recording. She says that her time spent in Nashville has helped her advance her career.

Read More: Musician Olivia Farabaugh is making waves in Music City

“It is a blast down there,” she said. “It has definitely given me a lot of connections in the music industry.

“There are a lot of really awesome artists and great writers. I’ve definitely really expanded my circle down there, which has been fun.”

However, her trips to Nashville were disrupted by the pandemic and the corresponding closure of non-essential businesses. She says that it has affected her career “tremendously,” as most of her performances needed to be canceled and she is currently unable to travel to Nashville.

“Usually I’m gigging all the time and traveling,” she said. “Now I’m realizing that traveling and meeting different people is such a love for me with [music]. 

“I didn’t quite acknowledge how much I loved it, except now that I can’t do it, I really miss it.”

For the past few months, she had been doing a college circuit, where she was traveling around to various colleges and universities, most of which are on the East Coast, and performing her music. However, these were the first of her performances to be canceled due to COVID-19.

“Once the restaurants and bars and all the venues closed down, it was a really big eye-opener as to what the situation was,” she said. “The first week and a half where this all came about, I was so in shock because I don’t know what to do if I’m not able to play.”

While she is now unable to perform in person, she has found a few ways to do it virtually. She has done a Zoom festival and a few virtual concerts for bars where she has previously performed, along with weekly “Quarantine Jams” on her Facebook page and “Tuesdays with Olivia” on the podcast “Puff and Steph.”

“[Virtual performances] have been fun,” said Farabaugh. “It’s really cool because I can still interact with people … That’s a positive side of it. It’s very weird because usually in a live show I just love picking on people and interacting and just kind of getting everybody riled up.

“It’s just interesting doing that through the phone but I feel that it’s a great alternative for what we can do right now.”

Additionally, she has performed at a few virtual happy hours and is scheduled to perform at the upcoming one for LebTown readers May 1 (see details below).

“I am so excited,” said Farabaugh. “This is totally different than any of the happy hours I have done before because there are so many different parts that go into it. I’m looking forward to seeing how this one compares.”

Staying at home has also given her the opportunity to dedicate more time and energy to her songwriting. 

“A lot of what I am doing during this time is writing,” she said. “It’s been interesting and eye-opening and it’s also given me a lot of time for reflection.” 

Farabaugh hopes that her music can help others connect despite being physically apart while living through the pandemic.

“I feel like music is such a good way for people to connect,” said Farabaugh. “Even if words don’t express what you’re feeling, you can always find a song that makes you feel better and you can always just dive into something musically. 

“Music during this time right now is just a really great way for us all to connect to each other and to ourselves. I think that’s a beautiful thing to be able to share.”

You’re invited to LebTown’s first-ever virtual happy hour!
We’ve got something special planned for Friday night. Our newsroom is hosting the first-ever virtual happy hour for LebTown readers. We’ve teamed up with Mount Gretna Craft Brewery to stream a special performance by Olivia. Live on Facebook at 6:15 p.m. Friday.

LebTown members are invited to an interactive Q&A with LebTown staff and Olivia before the performance. Plus, special discounts on food and beer at MGCB through Friday and all the other usual benefits.

Sign up today for an annual membership and get 25% off your first year.

Read all of LebTown’s COVID-19 coverage here.

Access LebTown’s comprehensive COVID-19 resource guide here.

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