Live Music in the Era of Covid-19
The moments in which we gathered with friends amongst a large crowd of strangers looking up at our favorite band feels like a distant and unfamiliar memory. Today, when we look at crowds and large gatherings with people laughing and smiling we see danger when we should feel joy. Our entire world has been flipped upside down and we are meant to move along and decide how to regain some type of normalcy, although this new normal won’t really look anything like the last. How do we take the events that once made us so happy and mold them to fit into this era? Events such as concerts and live music events, what happens next for them?
It is hard to really have an answer for any question that is brought up, the question concerning the future for live music is no exception. In fact, there seems to be no real answer as to what’s next for live music. Right now musicians, production companies, and showrunners are doing their best to accommodate today’s needs. Unfortunately for them, that means, canceling their live performances and annual festivals. These events not only give the community something to cherish and look forward to but also generate massive amounts of income for everyone involved in said events.
During the Latin Alternative Music Conference which was hosted virtually for the first time, a panel hosted a discussion concerning the future of live music. The panel consisted of Andy Wood, Sebastian De La Barra, Phil Rodriguez, and Jordi Puig who are all runners of popular annual festivals in the UK, Chile, Brazil, and Mexico. During the panel, they discussed options of what touring could possibly look like but definitely addressed how uncertain were about what comes next. Concerts with people 6 feet apart at all times seems unrealistic and difficult to fathom. That leaves the future of live music in a dangerous place, in a world in which we are unsure of how it will fit.
However, it is not all hopeless and new forms of live music have taken place during these last few months. Music is too important to just let it go to waste, and throughout quarantine around the world, we have seen that become apparent. Everyone saw it in Rome, Italy where citizens inside their homes glanced out of windows to see neighbors play music and ease the tensions that surround them and bring back a sense of peace. If there was ever a time we needed music, it is now.
Musicians such as Keith Urban and many more have begun to perform on stages in front of fans clapping and singing along with them in their cars. These drive-in concerts seem to be more and more relevant as artists continue to release new music and want to share in more intimate ways despite the circumstances. This is a great way to adhere to CDC guidelines and ensure that social distancing is happening. This might be the next best thing after drive-in movies.
More frequently we have seen artists sharing music on their Instagrams with live videos. We even did this for Melboss’ Music Day! Just like us here at Melboss, artists don’t want to miss out on doing what they love and neither do their fans. With concerts and festivals being canceled on all levels, musicians have had both casual and formal performances from their phones to fill the void.
So what can you do as an emerging artist right now? With limited live show possibilities, musicians are being forced to go about various ways to promote themselves. That being said the internet is a musician’s greatest friend at the moment. It is so important to get comfortable with social media and Youtube and really any platform out there to help spread your sound. People everywhere are getting invested in what people are creating during our quarantine and are entertained by them. Whether it be Youtube homemade music videos or even musical Tik Toks, creating content is going to be wildly important throughout all of this.
This is also a time to focus on branding and getting connected with fans and followers of your music. Get registered on websites such as Bandcamp, Patreon, Cameo and Soundrink to establish some networks and begin generating revenue. Even if the startup is slow it will make a difference and help with promotion and establishing a base and connection of people that enjoy and want to grow with your music.
While none of this gets us back to the normal we are used to, it does show us just how much we all love and appreciate live music. It is important and has been a luxury that we never would have imagined we could no longer have. This must be why we all took so many photos and videos when we had the chance. Now is the time to look back on those times and hold on to them as we embrace what is ahead. It’s an unknown but at least we can always count on the music.