Going to concerts … in your own home?

With COVID-19, a lot has changed with the world and especially with the entertainment industry. Live concerts could become a thing of the past, with artists and bands now performing live over the internet instead of in person during this pandemic. 

For example, iHeartRadio hosted its first-ever “iHeartRadio’s Living Black” concert on February 20, 2021. Jhené Aiko, Roddy Ricch, 21 Savage, Kirk Franklin, and more performed. This concert was a part of iHeartRadio’s Black History Month Celebrations. Listeners were able to tune in for free across the different iHeartRadio’s listening platforms.

For a virtual concert to happen, the musician or band must first choose their platform to be able to broadcast their music, such as Youtube or Instagram Live. The musicians also have to decide if they want fans to be able to chat during it, how long the concert can be accessed afterward, who has access to the link, and how many people can view the show. Some artists will require people to purchase a ticket in order to view the concert. If a person must buy a ticket, they will then be emailed a link to watch the show, but if it is free, they can stream it wherever it is live. Some virtual concerts are live, and some are recorded beforehand, edited together, and then aired. The benefit of it being prerecorded is that if a musician makes a mistake, they can restart without any of their fans knowing, and it also gets rid of the possibility of technical issues. 

The yearly Kiss 108 Jingle Ball Concert for 2020 was held virtually on December 10, starting at 9:00 p.m., with the artists streaming in from their homes. Tickets depending on the city usually sell for an average of $157 per ticket, but in 2020, the Jingle Ball was free. Many other artists have also started performing for free during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year on March 18, 2020, John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen hosted an Instagram Live where fans could join and submit music requests, and then John Legend would sing some of the requests. One of the benefits of virtual concerts is that many listeners who in the past would not be able to attend these concerts now have the opportunity to do so. 

Anna Fattaey ’21 has been to five virtual concerts, all of which have required tickets. Anna said, “They were fun and it was good to be able to see live music. All the money used to buy the tickets were donated to a charity of the artist’s choice. I prefer in-person concerts because of the atmosphere and being able to see the person who is performing.”

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