Music in the Time of COVID-19

Music in the Time of COVID-19

Photo Credit: Marcos Paulo Prado Unsplash

How the music industry has adjusted from live concerts to Instagram live streams

Shunthusja Santhirakumar, Social Media Manager 

Music is first and foremost an art. It allows for expression of emotions and expression of thought. It is an art that is part of a very popular and lucrative industry that is always changing. The biggest change that it has most likely faced is probably the current COVID-19 pandemic. Gone are days of going to see your favourite band at your closest musical venue and gone are the days of music festivals where you can lounge around in the sunshine having a day filled with music, friends, and relaxation. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced governments to restrict travel as well as impose lockdowns around the world, which therefore eliminates the possibility for live concerts. So, what have artists been doing to combat this issue and still be able to publish their music and connect with their fanbase? 

The internet has really been instrumental to the support of the music industry in a time where live concerts are next to impossible. It’s already hard to imagine what we would do without the Internet but imagine not having the Internet when all you can do is stay at home! By far, Instagram live has been a popular way for artists to stay connected to their fans and a way for them to continue playing their music. 

The band All Time Low released their brand-new album “Wake Up Sunshine” at the very beginning of the pandemic on April 3rd 2020 and you would think, given that the world was just getting accustomed to pandemic and quarantine life that this would be a bad move. In an interview with Billboard on March 27 2020, Alex Gaskarth who is the frontman of All Time Low, explained the reasoning for maintaining the release date. Gaskarth stated, “I feel like people need some new tunes and I hope that this record can be cathartic for people and help people through this weird, wild time.” Despite having a less than normal release their song “Monster” featuring blackbear reached number 1 on Billboard’s Alternative music chart. Due to the quarantine the band also had to cancel their concerts however they maintained engagement with their fans through Instagram livestreams over the past couple of months. They even started a webcast titled “Crash Test Live” with new streams on a weekly basis. 

The “One World: Together at Home” series is a fundraising broadcast launched by Global Citizen which features musicians as well as other artists to support healthcare initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic. This broadcast was available on multiple platforms including, Amazon Prime Video, Instagram, and Youtube to name a few. What was unique about this broadcast was the unity as it featured multiple types of artists as well as healthcare professionals to add more perspective to the COVID-19 pandemic while also creating unity through the arts in a safe and socially distant manner. The event raised $127.9 million which is quite a significant amount and one that reflects the unity inspired despite the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Overall, the music industry has definitely taken on a new form that embraces the social distance lifestyle. Through methods such as Instagram live streams and global initiatives, the music industry has maintained artist presence amongst their fans and has invented a new way to appreciate music. Though everyday life is still different from the world pre-pandemic, the resilience of the music industry, most importantly the artist, is something that should be applauded.