Virtual Concerts: How Industries are Adapting Under Covid-19 Restrictions

For somebody who spends most of their life inside their home with their cat, I have found self-isolation surprisingly boring. There’s something about being told I’m not allowed to do something that makes me want to do it. Even if I never would have been interested in the first place. 

I’m sure many of us have felt the growing itch of restlessness filling us with the desire to do something. Anything. We live in a participation culture, so being left to our own devices has left many feeling aimless. But fear not, because while you’re sitting at home in your pyjamas nearing your third packet of popcorn for the day, the entertainment industry is picking up the slack. In fact, there is a treasure trove of virtual concerts happening on the internet right now, just waiting for you to connect.


Virtual concerts are not a new concept, in fact the first of their kind debuted all the way back in 2007, a time when the O.C was still on our screens and Kevin Rudd was just becoming a household name. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra broadcast their performance live to an internet audience, and started a new wave of cultural participation. However, it wasn’t until recent world-altering developments *Ahem* Coronavirus *Ahem*, that virtual concerts progressed from a novelty to a necessity.

One of the main instigators in facilitating these concerts is an organisation called Global Citizen, which has started the movement #TogetherAtHome. This movement has hosted concerts from a range of stars including Chris Martin, John Legend and Jennifer Hudson. In Oz, homegrown artists have even been getting in the mix, with gig’s hosted by Guy Sebastian, Vance Joy, and G Flip gracing our screens. The concerts themselves are a fantastic form of entertainment, but the meaning behind them runs far deeper. Global Citizen is concerned with working together to create positive change, and one of their missions at the moment is to encourage people to stay indoors and self-isolate. Virtual performances help do that. They are broadcast live on the Global Citizen Instagram page, so chuck them a follow to make sure you don’t miss the next big concert!

Another emerging player in the new era of virtual concerts is Twitch, a platform which has gained notoriety in the gaming community for its video game live streaming. Twitch hosted a massive virtual festival over the weekend called ‘Stream Aid’. It featured more than 100 artists doing live performances while also encouraging viewers to donate to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The line up was huge, with big names like Diplo, Die Antwood and Ellie Goulding jamming out in the safety of their own homes. The mission for the festival was simple: Go live to save lives

If you were unlucky enough to miss the awesome virtual concerts we’ve been privy to so far- fear not! Global citizen has a pretty steady stream of concerts lined up, with more artists joining everyday. As for Twitch, its easy access format makes it the perfect platform for these concerts. And after the success of Stream Aid, it’s only a matter of time before they announce their next virtual festival.

But if you are not a music lover, or just feel like taking a break from the celebrity of it all, there’s a whole lot more that live streaming can offer you. Sydney Aquarium is currently showing live streams of their aquatic life during the day and its actually awesome! For nature lovers, Google Arts and Culture has partnered with the national parks to bring you The Hidden World of the National Parks.

Playtime with Pig the Dugong #seathelife

Posted by SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium on Thursday, 19 March 2020

The MOB museum (National Museum of Organised Crime and Law Enforcement) is also offering an interactive experience as a way to stay engaged and enriched during self-isolation, available via their app. The app offers a virtual tour, interactive map and more. The coolest feature, in my opinion? The doppelgangster- where users can match their own photos with a historical look-a-like. I apparently look like Pupetta Maresca- Italian for “little puppet”; she began her life of crime when she shot her husband’s murderer at the ripe old age of 20 – cheery stuff! 

So you see, there is quite literally hours upon hours of fresh new content available to explore and participate in just behind your screen. For those of you who are feeling the self-isolation blues, know that you’re not alone. There’s a whole world out there waiting to connect and get more creative in how they engage you, you just have to turn on your computer and go for the ride.

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