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While physical concerts are currently a no-go, Vox reports that live music is alive and well thanks to quarantine concerts — performances streamed on YouTube, Instagram, and similar platforms. Already, several well-known artists, from John Legend to Billie Eilish, have treated self-isolating fans to virtual concerts.

These online concerts have become beacons of hope for both the musicians and fans. Given how this pandemic is lingering, many musicians are also looking to create their own online concerts due to the fact they won’t be able to perform live for a while. If you are one such musician, make sure to keep in mind the smart tips below.

Familiarize Yourself with the Tech

The last thing you'd want is for your audience to experience technical difficulties due to a lack of preparation. This is the fastest way to lose your audience. Make sure you figure out beforehand how to use everything, from your camera to your computer and sound system. Make sure, too, that your devices are charged or plugged in and that your internet connection is excellent. The best way to check everything will be to do a virtual sound check, in this case a dummy run of the concert.

Deliver a Professional Sound

If you’re serious about making an impact through livestreaming and online performances, you must deliver a professional sound. Recording engineer Ron Skinner of CBC Music details how it is possible to deliver high-quality sounds even at home. On performing at home he said, “Make sure the room you are in sounds good to begin with. Check for any echo sounds. If your space is too "live"-sounding, maybe consider picking another room. Many people think they sound great in their bathroom, but that much echo might be too much echo for a live stream.”

Engage with the Audience

Engaging with your viewers will help you establish a connection with them. You can hold brief Q&As between songs and even ask for feedback (then adjust accordingly). Engaging with your audience is also a great way to announce your next shows in case you plan on livestreaming again.

You can take cues from John Legend and Coldplay's Chris Martin, whose #TogetherAtHome livestreams are among the high-profile online concerts music fans can watch. In each show, both Legend and Martin made it a point to interact with their fans. This level of engagement adds a new dynamic to your show, and it can help sustain your viewers' interest.

Pre-record the Concert

One way to ensure that everything runs smoothly is to pre-record it and then release it at a later date. This will give you complete control over the pacing of the concert and allow you to remove any issues before the public gets to see it. Showing past performances has become a trend for some bands during the global pandemic with Metallica launching a weekly online concert series. These concerts have allowed fans to still enjoy the epic guitar solos of Kirk Hammett using his signature Dunlop Kirk Hammett Cry Baby pedal, as well as the vocals and drumming of James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich respectively, despite the band’s live shows being canceled. And it shows that a good show doesn’t have to be live to engage fans, it just has to be well produced, clear, and full of great tunes.

Market it Well

Your best bet in getting people to tune in to your online concert is by marketing it aggressively. Post on your social media accounts the details of your show and enjoin your friends to watch. Create a hashtag similar to #TogetherAtHome to increase online awareness. In short, anything that can get the word out, go for it!

You can throw in a few gimmicks here and there, too, as pop rock Hanson are doing to promote their upcoming livestream series, due to start this October. The trio are offering select members of the community a chance to watch the band in-person, but with social distancing of course. Such marketing ploys can go a long way in generating interest for your online concert.

All that considered, our fervent wish is for things to get back to normal, so live concerts and music festivals can finally be held again. Granted, things will be different, as we discussed in 'When Festivals & Events Reopen, What Must We Do Differently?' But that's looking too far into the future. For now, online concerts are the next best thing, and now is the time to launch your own. 

Written by Julie Lowe for


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