The Future of Live Entertainment

The coronavirus pandemic is changing so many things right now that it’s becoming hard to keep track of what is open, what is closed, and what is simply cancelled. There are countless temporary closures, leaving many people without a job; a great number of people are working from home. This new normal also applies to entertainers, musicians, and anyone else who relies on live events to generate income.

People who are practicing social distancing are finding creative ways to fill their newly acquired spare time indoors. For the entertainment business, this includes creating content and getting it to an audience faster, in a digital format, and, in some cases, without being compensated financially, or taking donations for a cause.

This is leading to a number of innovative changes in how we access and enjoy live events. With Hollywood on hold, Broadway temporarily darkened, and countless sporting events and concerts postponed or abandoned altogether, people are tuning in instead of turning in tickets at a venue.

The following examples showcase how entertainers are creating a new “live event” space:

  • NPR Music is giving listeners an online resource to find streaming performances from top-name entertainers, musicians, and even the opera. The website auto-updates every day to provide timely links to social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch.
  • Billboard is keeping track of live stream and virtual concerts in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. This page of the publication’s website keeps fans posted on the latest content as it happens so they don’t miss a beat. 
  • The Digital Concert Hall lets viewers invite a symphony of sound into their own living room. This website features selected concerts available for streaming across multiple platforms, featuring performances and behind the scenes footage of the Berliner Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Musicals and plays are also switching to digital performances with the help of the streaming platform BroadwayHD, and On the Boards, which highlights more experimental shows and productions. Using these digital platforms, you can experience Broadway from home.
  • Music streaming service SoundCloud is helping musicians recoup some of their lost income from live events by teaming up with the streaming platform Twitch. The partnership allows the artists to achieve Twitch Affiliate status at a faster rate. The result is more content creation for fans and income for the artists.

In addition, artists from Keith Urban to Andrew Lloyd Webber are filling social media with mini-concerts done from their living room or basement recording studio. We’re seeing the homes of entertainers like never before, as the whole nation gets down to the basics.

While watching a concert from your own home is certainly different from the “live experience,” the demand for these digital options is growing, with no signs of stopping soon—pandemic or not. For many, streaming a live event versus going out to see one does have its advantages, including more comfortable seats and leg room. Oh, and there’s also no waiting in line, figuring out parking, or paying extra for the best seats in the house. For now, being a fan has its perks when it comes to choosing at-home entertainment, and the options will only increase in the future.