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Quarantined Concerts—The New Cool

By Amanda Gonzalez Garcia

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many new realities for the community, including the change in concert-going due to necessary safety regulations like social distancing. In response, many artists have decided to participate in at-home concerts, where they perform via a livestream on YouTube or other streaming platforms.

For example, on May 16, media news company EscapeTracks partnered with YouTube to fundraise through MusiCares, an organization which offers assistance to artists and music creators who have been affected by COVID-19. 

The partnership produced EscapeTracks Fest: A Virtual R&B Music Festival which was free of charge, but donations were accepted as part of the fundraiser. The experience featured artists like Elhae, Xavier Omär, and Queen Naija. 

Katy Perry continued the trend on July 25 and 26 when she headlined a two-day virtual Electric Dance Music (EDM) festival called Tomorrowland Around the World. The at-home concert featured more than 60 artists, including Steve Aoki, David Guetta, and Afrojack. Fans are still able to relive this experience for free through YouTube or the Tomorrowland website.

Most recently on Sept. 20, singer and Latin Grammy award winner, Bad Bunny, recently joined the trend by holding his own virtual concert in which he performed on a moving flatbed truck all over New York City, stopping traffic as fans watching the stream scoured the city to find him. 

The concert, hosted by Uforia Music, was streamed on YouTube and Uforia Music media channels on Twitter, Twitch, and their official website.

The Latin trap artist included surprise guest performances from other Latin artists like J Balvin, Sech, and Mora. He also discussed how his quarantined life was going, how he came up with the idea of a remote concert, and even shared his hope to be performing in-person again soon. 

At the end of the concert, Bad Bunny was stationed outside of the Harlem Hospital where he thanked his fans for all of their support and paid homage to the frontline workers who continue to fight during the pandemic. 

As the most recent remote musical event, Bad Bunny’s concert was in social media headlines with fans, including some Barry students, who had much to say about the experience. 

Junior psychology major Lillian Rodriguez, for example, recalled that the concert setup was as close as possible to that of an in-person concert. Rodriguez also appreciated Bad Bunny’s discussion of the continuing effects of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, the fraudulence within the Puerto Rican government, and the importance of voting in the upcoming election.

Further, because the pandemic caused many artists to reschedule their concert tours or cancel them altogether, Rodriguez encourages others to attend at-home concerts like this in the future. 

“Give it a shot,” said Rodriguez. “It’s a different experience, and something eventful to do in quarantine whilst staying safe.”

People will be able to give the virtual concert experience a shot by attending some upcoming at-home concerts. 

The 2020 IHeartCountry Festival, for example, will livestream through streaming platform LiveXLive on Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. The lineup includes Sam Hunt, Kane Brown, Riley Green, and Kelsea Ballerini.

Singer Billie Eilish will follow this with the Oct. 24 livestream show on her website called Where Do We Go? The virtual concert is a replacement for her cancelled tour and will air at 6 p.m. Fans can buy tickets through her website for $30.

Finally, Rolling Loud, the largest Hip-Hop festival in the world, will continue this trend with “Loud Stream by Rolling Loud,” a series of music streams to replace the annual three-day music festival that would have been in Miami this year. 

The festival will stream a second edition of “Loud Stream,” which features live performances and interviews with artists, on Oct. 30 and 31 at 6 p.m on Twitch.

The first “Loud Stream” aired on Sept. 12 and 13, featuring performances by Ski Mask the Slump God, Swae Lee, and NLE Choppa. 

Barry students can refer to Billboard, an American media brand known for their music charts, to stay up-to-date on the upcoming at-home concerts.

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