This interesting article by The Guardian’s Pop and Rock critic Kitty Empire explores how DIY, virtual performances from artists at home have successfully enabled fans to enjoy live music without attending gigs during lockdown. However, it also covers what the future of live music looks like, and the lack of enthusiasm for socially distanced gigs…
The article also mentions the economic pain that is being felt by shuttered music venues up and down the country. The MIA continue to support the work of the Music Venue Trust and their #saveourvenues campaign.
Here is an excerpt from Kitty Empire’s article for The Guardian:
“Unlike my fellow critics who review theatre, dance or art, my work did not evaporate during lockdown – it pivoted to recorded music and became surreal. Mid-lockdown, I spent weeks obsessively stalking Charli XCX across many online platforms as she prepped her isolation album, How I’m Feeling Now. I tried to keep abreast of all the livestreams and myriad other gig substitutes. I squealed as Jameela Jamil’s arm interrupted a James Blake Q&A to fix his hair. I tuned in too late to see Michelle Obama’s comment on the love-in between Erykah Badu and Jill Scott on Verzuz, notionally a rap battle show on Instagram Live that at its peak had 700,000 viewers.
DIY online performances solved some problems, if not others. People played, mostly acoustically, without glamour, in home studios or kitchens. Fans could comment live, in real time – requests, virtual heckling, fire emojis – as gamers have done for years. But what we, the virtual meeting attendees, all gained in weird, exhilarating intimacy, artists and venues lost in revenue. Shows were mostly free or – rightly – to benefit a charitable cause. Singer-songwriters adapted easily to lockdown aesthetics. Acts with more Sturm und Drang to their presentations fared less well on a phone screen.