The publishing industry, like the creative arts sector, is facing oblivion the longer the worldwide Coronavirus lockdown goes on.
But where crisis strikes, creative thinking flourishes. Acts, solo artists, venues and more have risen from sofas in increasing numbers to spark a new wave of performances by harnessing technology.
Among the most impressive, the Lockdown Festival by Oslo based Vierlive, pairing some major acts like Aurora and Sigrid with leading video directors such as Emilie Norenberg and one of the most user friendly platforms we’ve seen for cinema quality live streams.
Others have taken to social media. Fables artist Grisly Faye, for example streaming for the first time for a Brazilian inspired collaboration.
Scotland’s own Dougie MacLean has been doing live shows from his home most nights. Today he even has a special lunchtime session for NHS and health workers streaming on facebook.
REM’s Michael Stipe chose this moment to share a demo of some new work, No Time for Love Like Now, to bring some much needed joy to fans.
One of my own favourites has been France’s Matthieu Chedid – M – with a series of gigs in his home which have been the source of much entertainment. This weekend’s Sunday Brunch promises to brighten up any day.
All a world away from what was the norm, but perhaps this reimagining of performance will have a legacy all of its own.
With venues up and down the land shuttered, the godfather of what to see and where to go – The List – has pivoted to provide new ways of embracing these changing times with virtual rundowns.
And now they have partnered with worldly wise GigsGuide, to curate virtual gigs listing from around the globe – with an understanding that artists people may normally never get to see can appear right in our homes.
Some are free. Others for charity or even income for those who have been left without a means to earn. Advertisers too need a footprint to promote their online wares.
Francesco Cetraro, founder and CEO of GigsGuide, said: ‘COVID-19 may have killed travel and gigs – and our business – for a while, but it has not broken our love for music.
“Listing “virtual” concerts was the best thing we could do to stay true to our mission.
“In the last month, we have collected, organised and promoted over 2000 “online” gigs. Joining forces with The List now gives us an excellent opportunity to reach even more artists and music lovers and help them connect.”
David Low, CEO of The List, said he hoped the initiative would help people as they look to get through the crisis, by embracing their love for music and performance.
He said: ‘It’s been great getting to know Francesco over the past few weeks and watching the rapid growth of gigs in “Paradise City”. GigsGuide was one of the first sites to really think hard about online events and we’re delighted to work with them, exposing virtual gig listings to many more users in the UK and helping people get through this lockdown period with their daily dose of live music.”
As they look to embrace the change in consumption, though, so too are we. Nothing will ever replace the live gig experience, nor replicate a night at the theatre. But maybe, just maybe, we are learning to enjoy the virtual experience too.
A chance to invite these acts into our homes, host watch-parties with friends, cross the miles without cost or loss of time. I can’t help but think that even when lockdown ends, we may cling onto a virtual legacy too.