2020 in Live Gigs

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I’m an avid music fan and concert-goer. As mentioned in last week’s post I’d like to write a bit about live music events in 2020. For obvious reasons, 2020 has both been a very different and a very difficult year for live events and those that make a living from them: Artists and performers, speakers, conferences, festival, venues, sound engineers, sound and lighting technicians, caterers, stage hands.

These were the only bands I was able to see during on-location live music shows in 2020:

The latter two having taken place around March, 10th, the apprehension about what was to come was already palpable during both events. Zaher Zorgati, Myrath’s singer, quipped that they must be about the last band touring in Europe at the time. He probably was right. Very soon after, lockdown measures were put in place, thus cancelling all remaining live gigs for pretty much the rest of the year.

These were some of the events I had been particularly looking forward to which didn’t take place or were postponed to 2021.

However, as mentioned before, in times of crises, opportunities abound, too. After initial shock of being faced with not being able to play live anymore and therefore in many cases not being able to make a living or even earn anything at all for a considerable time, many artists explored new ways of producing live music events. Virtual / online / events and live streaming were the obvious choice for still reaching fans while still complying with restrictions and without jeopardising the safety of everyone involved.

I attended many of these live streaming events. In the beginning, some of those were quite exploratory and at times haphazard in nature since for the most part the format, technical challenges, and aspects such as the lack of a live audience for entirely new to most. Over time, though, performers grew more comfortable with both the challenges and the opportunities that come with the medium. Truth be told, in most cases the revenue from these virtual events probably wasn’t enough to compensate for the losses incurred due to cancelled concerts but they generated some revenue at least. Once audiences get more used to the format sustainable business models are likely to emerge.

These are some of the artists, festivals, and venues I’d like to mention in particular because their respective live streaming events stood in out for me:

I’d like to thank the artists and everyone involved in producing these virtual events for their spirit and for not only making the best out of a difficult situation but also often creating something entirely new in the process.

While I think that these new approaches and new ways of delivering live music artists have been exploring this year are here to stay and complement live music performances I’m also absolutely certain that on-location live music will come back. Live music can captivating, mesmerising, thought-provoking and exhilarating. Live music isn’t expendable indulgence it’s essential.

So, again here’s to a prosperous year 2021 with live music events hopefully returning to the stages of the world!

About the author: Bjoern
Independent IT consultant, entrepreneur

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