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COVID-19 and Virtual Events, how’s That Going?

Andy Robertson

The virtual event has been hailed as the saviour of the live music event industry ever since the majority of populations went into a lockdown back in March 2020. How has this developed over the last five months and does it fill the gap left by the cancellation of live events which are unlikely to resume until well into 2021. 

In a previous blog we did a brief overview of how virtual events for sports and entertainment had made a good start but what has been happening in the live music scene since then and what progress has been made?

The technology used for streaming events is fairly simple but many event organisers, studios and artists have invested in cutting edge technology to ensure that the reproduction is of a high standard and that their server connections are robust to handle high quality content and manage anticipated streamed traffic volumes. Whilst the term ‘live’ has been used loosely the music performances that have been streamed may actually be professionally prerecorded in a studio beforehand, only a handful of artists are performing live in the true sense.

For virtual streamed live performances, it appears there is a price point of around £5 above which an online audience will not pay. Given these low prices if an artist can achieve a sizable streamed audience, they will make some money and this is keeping many financially afloat. If there is a sizable audience it may also be possible for the artist to sell related merchandise too. Corporate sponsors could also be interested if the artist is reasonably well known and can generate a decent sized audience.

Assuming that audiences
streaming live events have a decent internet connection the experience should be buffer free, smooth professional and seamless. Equally for artists performing live many are now using fully equipped studios and the best technology and streaming services they can afford. There is no doubt overall that artists are relishing the experience of performing live to an audience again.

Live streaming and virtual events can never replace the experience of a live music event because event goers miss out on other key atmospheric sensory experiences like smells and vibrations, add into that the comradery of being in a sizable audience where event goers can meet new people, go out for drinks before and make a day of it. Watching a live streamed event on Zoom cannot compete with the physical experience. Whilst many events are returning, the ‘new normal’ restrictions can really dampen the atmosphere and many artists and event organisers may hold off until well into 2021 when a sense of normality can be experienced.

Using an events management software solution like FestivalPro can help make the planning and running of live music events more efficient with built in functionality to manage every aspect of a live music event. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The FestivalPro platform is easy to use and has all the features an event organiser needs to plan and control events whether they are live in a venue or in a virtual environment.  

Photo by Harsch Shivam from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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