How Live Concerts Came Home During the Lockdown: Score Short Reads

How Live Concerts Came Home During the Lockdown: The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented event in our lifetime. Millions of people are quarantined indoors and seeking a way of escape from the fear and worries. On the other hand, musicians and performers have been frustrated because they haven’t hit the road and provided the euphoric release to fans in person. To bridge this gap and create some kind of happy middle ground in this hapless situation, platforms like OML, Dice and Skillbox have brought in virtual concerts for the viewers.

Taking the virtual stage brings in a new set of challenges. It takes far more than an amazing performance and great content to keep the energy going. How will the performers feed off the crowd’s energy if there is no crowd in front of them? How will the audience feel about dancing, singing along and getting loud in isolation?

Artists and their audiences may struggle at first to find the same raw energy they get from being there in person. When it comes to real-time events, there is no room for mistakes, production glitches or connectivity issues. The audience demands pitch-perfect audio, perfect lighting, and cutting edge special effects. These virtual events need to eclipse (or at least match) the expectation of the people. 

Obviously, the world has changed quite suddenly. Yet it’s also the right time for artists, entertainers, musicians, non-profits, and corporations to come together and provide something special for those doing their part and staying inside during the quarantine. This is perhaps the most critical time to entertain people. The ones who manage to do so, will end up creating everlasting memories and experiences.

Just like live shows require the right crew to ensure that the shows go on without a hitch, a virtual partner is needed to tackle the challenges with virtual concerts. Here are the best ones.

OML

Manish Chandnani,  VP – OML Live says “The format from previous years had to be revamped completely. Taking the festival from ground to virtual entailed a lot of trial and error. Zoning in on the right decisions in terms of communication lines, the addition of newly relevant features and weighing viability were challenging. Also, of course, initial technical glitches.” This year, people won’t have to go to attend the NH7 weekender, the “happiest festival of the year” will come to them.

DICE

Through their app and dice.fm website, Dice has claimed to be the only Indian service that has offered personalised global event recommendation and ticketing, as well as bringing live streams from cities around the world right into your smartphone screen. “The live events and entertainment industry is really badly hit due to this COVID-19 pandemic and may not recover for a longer period of time than a lot of people expect,” said Arnav Banerjee, Dice India Lead. “We feel the time is right to talk to the music audience in India and the artist community at large and build the live streaming space here. Because thanks to music streaming, India has a lot of globally recognized artists and musical talent, so we want to replicate that success with live streaming and hopefully get these artists to make some money in the process as well.”

Skillbox

Skillbox’s StreamBox, an inbuilt live streaming service, kick-started a series of performances in April with a voluntary fee and over fifty artists. In May, SkillBox hosted its first ticketed live streaming event with Parekh & Singh performing live from a studio with proper set-up. Since that virtual concert, SkillBox has grown in strength and has gone on to organize a number of ticketed events with multiple artists. The fifth edition of the Mumbai Piano Day was also streamed on Skillbox.

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