Canceled concerts turned living room serenades: Performances go digital
Another day, another concert canceled. Social distancing right now means fans are praying for postponed shows rather than canceled ones, if the artist hasn’t already called it off.
For a lot of people, going to a concert is a big deal. Many plan months ahead with their friends, book hotel rooms or flights and let the anticipation build. A few I’ve talked to even admit that going to their concert of choice is one of the main events they look forward to for almost a year.
Artists from Green Day to Khalid to BTS have postponed or canceled shows for 2020. Most tours’ spring legs have new dates much later in the year or even in 2021, while summer dates are being debated every day.
With the cancellation of multiple shows worldwide comes the cancellation of festivals as well. South by Southwest Music Festival was canceled, followed by the Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City, which takes place in June. The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and the Stagecoach Festival have both been rescheduled to later in the year.
Still, there have been efforts to move the music into fans’ living rooms. The trend of “online concerts” has taken over recently, with multiple artists participating in global lineups, going live on social media or through television programs to bring viewers a fun experience at home.
One of the most notable is Global Citizen’s One World: Together at Home. Global Citizen has set up small live streams with multiple artists, but the main event took place on April 18 to entertain fans at home and to support health efforts against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The lineup included Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Elton John and many others. The virtual concert raised $127.9 million for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) response fund, according to the organizers of the event.
Some reviewers say that it wasn’t the most enjoyable, consisting of mostly sad songs and provided little distraction from the virus. But these online concerts are one way to bring together the people who have been waiting for their own and are upset they no longer have something to be excited about. Not only that, but the large amounts of money being raised by such events, going directly to COVID-19 relief could also make a huge difference for people’s health and well-being.
All of this discussion about concerts and entertainment brings forth an important question about how we should feel right now: Is it insensitive to be upset about the cancellation of a few concerts when people are dealing with much worse right now?
There’s no right answer here. Honestly, concerts are not at the forefront of our worries. The biggest thing we should all be concerned with is staying home and keeping ourselves and others around us safe.
It would be foolish to say people have no right to be upset about these events being canceled, because these occasions bring happiness to a lot of people’s lives. I think we just need to acknowledge that while it can be sad or disappointing, the main reason all of this is being done is to prevent more health problems from arising and to flatten the curve so the pandemic does not last for a longer period of time.
I myself am pretty upset that most of the concerts I planned to go to are most likely going to be postponed, probably to 2021. Yet being upset about these concerts being canceled is a privilege. Some people are worried about their family members who have gotten sick or how to get tested when they cannot afford it. Those are only two of the major stresses that come along with this pandemic.
I think that everyone’s feelings are justified — don’t let someone tell you that you have no right to be upset over something you were excited about — as long as you recognize that there are people dealing with much larger issues right now and realize how having these feelings is actually a privilege.
Everyone is dealing with a lot right now, and concerts being canceled is just the tip of the iceberg. The least we can do is enjoy the stay at home concerts and continue social distancing if we want things to change for the better.
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