Now that we have all experienced almost a full year of living in the era of COVID-19, it's time to look back at how the music demographic has changed. We will take a look at what artists have done to stay relevant, and how the lack of live shows has affected artists and music venues alike.
While the effects of COVID have led to travel bans and caused many restaurants to close, they have also changed the music industry drastically, leading many music venues to shut their doors for good. Outdoor concerts have also had many cancellations and postponements throughout the year due to the rising fear of spreading the virus, however, some venues have continued to host smaller shows where fans can still enjoy seeing their favorite bands, or local artists all while socially distancing.
Artist, especially independent artists, have struggled a lot in the last year. You can't make money if you aren't touring and playing shows, and you cant play shows with a venue to host them. While a lot of artists have resorted to selling merchandise and focusing on recording more music rather than touring, that still doesn't bring in the revenue and hype from fan bases that live shows brings. Now you ask, "What have artists and venues done to prevent losing so much money?" and there is one simple answer. Live streaming. Many bands in last few months have taken to the internet, live streaming their shows from home or even collaborating with small local venues to help draw in more fans. This trend has become increasingly popular the more that the virus sticks around and artists have gotten creative with the ways that they do live shows, ranging from a small setup in someone's garage, all the way up to having a completely animated concert in video games.
While these live stream concerts are a cool idea and very fun to watch, the vast majority of artists are doing them for free, losing out on what used to be their main source of income. Some venues have come up with a solution to that problem though, selling tickets to fans and allowing what is called "drive-in concerts". These concerts are very similar to drive-in movie theaters where fans can pull their cars right up to the stage and enjoy a live show in person, all while socially distancing.
There have been a lot of creative solutions to help save artists from losing what they love most, but a lot of smaller independent artists are still struggling to make ends meet when they can't find places to play live shows. I encourage everyone to take time out of their days to learn how the COVID era has affected their favorite artists and what they can do to help. Many musicians have ways for you to buy their merchandise, but you can also donate money and subscribe to their individual channels, accessing content that not everyone gets to see, all while supporting the arts. Music is something that everyone loves and experiences constantly, it would be devastating to see it disappear from our every day lives.
When COVID subsides, will we see the return of live, in-person shows, or will there continue to be a rise in popularity in shows being live streamed, allowing you to watch from anywhere? There is no sure way of telling, but one thing is definite, Music will prevail.