I think we can all agree that 2020 was not a good year for live performances. A few of them took place in spite of the ongoing pandemic and the many restrictions in place – and some of them have proven to be so-called “superspreader” events. Artists from all over the world were confined to their studios, with their only option remaining to keep in touch with their fans via live streaming.
Just like the closure of casinos around the world pushed the gambling crowds toward the JackpotCity online casino, the pandemic has pushed music into the great online. But there’s a big difference: the games at the JackpotCity perfectly replicate the experience of a visit at any Las Vegas resort – minus the buffet and the cheap drinks, of course. The games are there, the thrill of taking chances is there – but without having to travel across half the world, book a hotel room, and without having to avoid tipsy patrons cheering or cussing out the dealers.
When it comes to live music, though, it’s simply not the same. A live stream will never offer the same experience as an actual concert, no matter if it’s a small event held at a bar or a stadium-filler performance of a big name.
But people seem to have accepted that this is the new norm.
Big online events
It took a while for streaming performances to grow from jam sessions via Zoom to bona fide virtual concerts. The thing is, fans still crave after their favorite bands’ performances, and will gladly pay to see them perform live – even if it’s a live stream. Some paid virtual events held in the second half of the year have put even their live counterparts to shame: K-pop band BTS held a 100-minute online concert that attracted more than 750,000 viewers, while Belgium’s famous EDM festival Tomorrowland, for example, attracted more than 1 million viewers from all corners of the globe, eclipsing its 400,000-strong attendance in 2019.
Upcoming streams to follow
The year is coming to an end – but there’s still a lot of music to be heard.
The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)’s Founders Awards is normally an exclusive (and expensive) charity event held in Seattle. This year, in turn, it will be streamed live through Amazon Music’s Twitch channel for the whole world to see.
Seattle-based Alice In Chains will receive the MoPop’s Founders Award on December 1st, and it will also perform live – along with fellow rockers like Metallica, Korn, Mastodon, Mike McCready, and Duff McKagan, among others, playing tributes to the long-running grunge band. The event will start at 6 PM PST and will be available free for anyone.
Down By The River Thames will be a one-off VR event by former Oasis star Liam Gallagher where he will perform not only songs from his solo albums but also hits from his time with Oasis. The show will be streamed via MelodyVR’s web player – and it will be paid: tickets can be bought for £16.50/$22.50 here.
Jingle Ball 2020 will be a live (virtual) performance featuring Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes, Doja Cat, Lewis Capaldi, and other artists organized by iHeartRadio and The CW on December 10, 9 PM ET/6 PM PT. The performance can be followed on The CW app and cwtw.com.
Lindsey Stirling will perform her Home for the Holidays streaming special on December 12, at 3 PM EST/12 PM PST/8 PM GMT/ 9 PM CET (and another one at 8 PM EST / 5 PM PST). Tickets can be bought through On Location Live for $23.50.
Gorillaz will perform their latest album Song Machine: Season One – Strange Timez in its entirety in a live stream on December 12. Tickets for the event cost $15 for one stream or $30 for all three, available through LiveNow.
Finally, let us mention Front Row Live Q&A with Klaus, Rudolf & Matthias of Scorpions! by Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp, featuring members of the German heavy metal legend Scorpions. Tickets for the event start at $25. For more information on the event, check out its Facebook page here.
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