Wanting past the pandemic – Brooke Harwood and Jolene Zhu Zhou |


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This put up options two items from the LMX pupil interns – Brooke Harwood and Jolene Zhu Zhou – trying on the impact of social distancing on dwell music and, with an finish to the pandemic hopefully in sight, at a number of the rising prospects for performers and the dwell music sector at massive.

Brooke Harwood – A New Period of Musical Efficiency

Jolene Zhu Zhou – The Present Should Go On(line)

Brooke Harwood – A New Period of Musical Efficiency

The music trade is consistently adapting. Within the early 2000s, it was not possible to think about that vinyl information would quickly overtake CD gross sales and a full dwell live performance could possibly be streamed from a cell phone. As we close to the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, the music scene will as soon as once more develop. From on-line writing collaborations to cinematic tv broadcasts, the pandemic has inspired artists to search out new and artistic methods to offer musical efficiency as nationwide restrictions persist. If we’re to know what to anticipate from dwell music post-2020, this new period of musical efficiency should be explored.

Reside concert events to a packed viewers stay not possible in lots of nations with social distancing measures nonetheless in place. Attributable to this, music artists have been pressured to heighten their creativity in televised performances to offer followers with a lot wanted leisure all through lockdown. Because the BBC reviews, on-line streaming all through the pandemic has pressured for musical broadcasts, to be able to fight social media opponents. Because of this, artists have gained the capability to create cinematic-styled tv broadcasts with the hope of compensating for cancelled dwell concert events.

Alex Lill, a movie director with specific expertise in music video manufacturing explains the motive behind cinematic performances to the BBC:

Earlier than the pandemic even hit we had been making an attempt to reimagine how we might present a cinematic expertise for the viewers at house, not simply the dwell viewers. When Covid began and dwell audiences had been out the window, solely then had been we given extra licence by numerous tv networks and platforms to pursue this new method.

This cinematic expertise might be seen inside numerous televised performances and livestreams for the reason that begin of the pandemic in March 2020.

A noteworthy instance could also be Pa Salieu’s look on The Tonight Present starring Jimmy Fallon, on the 22nd of January this yr. Attributable to journey restrictions between the US and UK, Salieu was unable to look in particular person on the American present. In gentle of this, the networkallowed Salieu to pre-record an virtually music video worthy efficiency that will be aired dwell on the present. His efficiency concerned pitbulls, automobiles, a grocery retailer set and was distinctively totally different to pre-Covid musical appearances on The Tonight Present that will often be carried out dwell on set, with little to nothing by the use of props. Regardless of being pre-recorded, Salieu’s efficiency seems to have been successful as reviewers and viewers feedback spotlight:

[T]his man simply made a music video dwell on stage.

The beneficial viewers response to Salieu’s look on The Tonight Present means that theatrical or cinematic musical recordings could also be utilised in tv following the COVID-19 pandemic because the trade strikes into a brand new period of music efficiency.

One other sector that has developed has music performances have taken account of the pandemic is that of live performance experiences. Previous to Coronavirus, followers had the choice to pay premium ticket costs to satisfy their favorite artists backstage following a live performance. Nonetheless, specialists throughout the trade report that these “meet and greets could also be a factor of the previous”. The expertise could be reserved for round 100 viewers members and historically concerned a hug, fast dialog and picture with the artist. Nonetheless, post-2020, the unavoidable well being dangers of this private interplay has now brought on the meet and greet choice to be eliminated from most live performance ticket packages.

Regardless of this, many artists recognise the significance of one-on-one fan interactions and so have explored artistic strategies in offering this valued live performance expertise following the pandemic. The cellular app, Cameo, permits followers to pay for a personalised video message from their chosen celeb. Many artists have turned to apps like Cameo to offer followers with ‘digital autographs’ while dwell concert events meet and greets stay not possible.

Editors of the JS journal argue that personalised video messages are a constructive consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic that may improve conventional meet and greets post-2020:

This digital spin on conventional meet and greets undoubtedly elevates the fan expertise, and is a significant piece of memorabilia you’ll be able to view time and again.

Past this, dwell music trade specialists hypothesise that ticketing can even turn out to be more and more digitalised, post-2020. With the event of e-tickets by smartphones, the paper ticket for big occasions was already in decline, previous to 2020. Nonetheless, to keep away from pointless contact between venue workers and viewers members, bodily tickets for dwell music occasions could possibly be deserted following the pandemic.

Graham Micone, vice chairman of music and leisure at Momentum Worldwide, writes in an interview for Cosmopolitan journal:

Issues will seemingly look a bit totally different th[a]n they had been pre-COVID-19, […] Line entry into venues will seemingly be staggered and tickets will likely be paperless, everybody simply having their units scanned.

While this will likely be disappointing information for followers with countless paper tickets taped to their bed room wall, the safety of viewers and workers well being should stay the precedence.

Lastly, the brand new context for efficiency may see the recognition of intimate concert events rise within the wake of the Coronavirus. As beforehand talked about, massive viewers capability stays difficult in 2021, because of the persevering with social distancing measures. Consequently, some specialists imagine that smaller venues might turn out to be the standard live performance setting post-pandemic.

Journalist, Adam Aziz, suggests that intimate live performance settings will present followers with a extra private expertise:

[T]right here is a chance for mid to lower-level artists to swallow their satisfaction and take into account getting even nearer to their followers. There is a chance for avenue or literal yard excursions throughout the nation for artists to proceed to generate some earnings, construct social content material, and make touring work within the meantime.

Smaller venues give the benefit of full viewers capability while sustaining social distancing and so could also be the very best possibility for live performance settings following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The concept of intimate concert events was partially examined in August 2020, on the UK’s first socially distanced pageant. Right here, ticket-holders had been saved strictly separated with one another in respect of presidency security tips. Viewers reactions had been enormously in favour of the brand new set-up and a few took to Twitter to voice their approval:

‘My hatred for human contact with folks I don’t know actually, realllyyy approves of this,’


This viewers response to this socially-distanced pageant gives some hope for intimate concert events post-pandemic because it emphasises that giant and uncontained crowds are usually not important to dwell music efficiency.

While the pandemic has brought on unimaginable losses for the music trade, it’s clear that artists are prepared and decided to adapt to a brand new period of musical efficiency. Elaborate, cinematic performances have turn out to be the norm for musical tv appearances and often is the approach ahead for broadcasters as they compete with on-line streaming. Live performance experiences have additionally been tailored on account of the pandemic with the emergence of smaller venue concert events and digitalised fan experiences. While it could be some time earlier than dwell efficiency resumes, the creativity of artists and trade employees all through the pandemic brings us religion that the post-COVID period of music will likely be one to sit up for.

Jolene Zhu Zhou – The Present Should Go On(line)

Though the impact of coronavirus on the dwell music trade is undoubtedly devastating, some folks have discovered a silver lining: dwell streaming. With music venues massive and small being pressured to close all over the world, artists haven’t any selection however to show to livestreaming to carry out for followers, and there are some circumstances that may point out how evolutionary this format might be.

Ok-Pop superstars BTS made almost $20m in June 2020 from a single digital live performance “Bang Bang Con: The Reside” the place followers had been provided a front-row expertise that attracted 756,600 concurrent viewers from 107 areas.

Likewise, former One Course member Niall Horan carried out a livestream gig in an empty Royal Albert Corridor in London which offered greater than 120,000 tickets, surpassing the capability of the venue itself, to boost funds for his touring crew and the ‘We Want Crew’ fund. His live performance attracted followers from greater than 150 nations worldwide who joined and watched the singer carry out.

One of the crucial well-liked European music festivals, Tomorrowland, additionally hosted their first digital expertise, calling it “Tomorrowland Across the World”. With tickets priced between €12.50 (approx. £10) and €20 (approx. £17), over 1 million paid to attend the digital pageant, which means the pageant revamped £10 million over one single weekend.

Massive names akin to Spotify and Amazon have already jumped on this boat. Music large Spotify teamed up with Songkick (an app that connects concert-goers with artists) and Ticketmaster final September to make entry to digital occasions simpler for his or her audiences and to assist artists out on this interval the place excursions are being cancelled as a consequence of COVID-19. The best way this new characteristic works is that artists can checklist their occasions by Songkick, host their occasion by numerous platforms akin to Twitch and Instagram Reside after which, as soon as it’s on Spotify, add it to their “Artist Decide” in order that the live performance is on the prime of their profile. Spotify can then increase extra consciousness by sending suggestions to followers to get the phrase out.

Amazon additionally seized this chance and launched a dwell streaming perform inside Twitch (primarily a gaming platform that’s owned by Amazon) whose recognition skyrocketed through the pandemic. Musicians additionally hyperlink their Twitch account to Amazon Music the place their efficiency will likely be broadcasted on the Amazon Music app concurrently and followers will likely be notified when the streaming begins.

Smaller companies are additionally tuning in to those new technological options. However with out names as massive as these beforehand talked about, they’re trying extra on the artistic facet. Many have picked up on what Amazon and Spotify lack – the connection between artist and fan, an important high quality of the dwell expertise.

It isn’t solely tech giants which can be responding to the expansion in dwell music on-line. Smaller corporations are additionally getting into the fray, and in search of to deal with a number of the issues round streaming dwell music on-line – the hole between the ‘dwell expertise’ and the mediated nature of livestreams.

Though they’re a start-up firm, Driift’s companies do actually revolutionise attending livestreamed concert events, which characteristic in-performance dwell video fan chat rooms; buddy sourcing at present by breakout chat room; ‘non-public packing containers’ for teams of mates (video chat); and ‘non-public rooms’ for meet and greets (additionally video chats). All of those parts replicate features of the expertise of going to a live performance in particular person, particularly the latter which ticks off the field of fan and artist interactions with the one distinction being that of truly having the ability to see folks face-to-face. Nonetheless, Driift has already gained huge success as a manufacturing firm for livestreaming gigs, together with producing Niall Horan’s aforementioned Albert Corridor.

Classes, co-founded by Tim Westergen, emphasise artist and fan interactions much more: not solely can artists cost for reveals and bundle merch with on-line ticket gross sales – which ensures income for the performer –  its particular characteristic referred to as “Purchase Love” permits extra transactions within the type of digital presents for the artist. Followers may also pay to request songs and stand out extra in order that artists discover their efforts and contributions. What can be interesting about this platform is that it helps these upcoming artists who need assistance greater than ever earlier than to interrupt into the trade, in addition to established ones akin to Ceelo Inexperienced and Daniel Caesar.

Thus far, the circumstances mentioned have all been about livestreaming platforms. However Nick Dangerfield used one other enterprise mannequin for these new advances: audio system referred to as ‘Oda’ that mimic the sensation of an in-person present when broadcasting dwell performances. The audio system themselves value $399 (approx. £292), and the enterprise mannequin additionally incorporates a membership priced at $79 (approx. £58) for each three months the place the line-up of performers change each season. The expertise of the product is described as “two cans and a string” because the artists craft their very own sound, controlling each element heard as they activate the audio system themselves with the press of a button. What additional differentiates this from the opposite companies is that the efficiency is performed at house, not by a telephone or a browser.

With new alternatives, new challenges additionally come up. One essential issue to attending concert events is that the fan can see the efficiency of an artist that they already know and like. Though the Oda audio system are very revolutionary, the query stays of whether or not the music of the altering lineup will likely be to the viewers’s liking? The one recognisable names they’ve labored with to date are Girl Gaga and Mark Ronson, who’re nevertheless, not included within the performing artists checklist. The identical challenge might be utilized to Classes, though (as talked about earlier than) in addition they embody extra well-known artists and there may be much less monetary dedication concerned as shoppers should buy particular person tickets with no membership charge or extra {hardware} prices.

Typically talking, there are nonetheless many points that have to be solved. How do you’re employed out the worth of a digital ticket? Is the variety of Instagram followers of the artist a great indicator for pricing fashions? Are you able to depend on the present know-how to let doubtlessly tens of millions of followers in by the digital door in lower than 10 minutes?

To switch dwell concert events with digital ones, corporations must put fan engagements on the coronary heart of their service or product. Expertise can create superb visible representations digitally, however this nonetheless won’t be as particular as an in-person expertise – listening to the general public scream when the artist first seems on the stage, seeing the entire venue stuffed with floating lights as folks wave their light-sticks within the air, voices responding when the artist flip their mic to the viewers. But in addition think about the potential development of the music trade if these solutions are found out. Possibly the dwell occasion on-line will even turn out to be an expertise itself, quite than an alternative choice to dwell concert events while we look forward to a pandemic to finish.  



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