COVID-19 has caused layoffs and job losses for millions of Americans. But some of those hit hardest are the musicians, the concert artists that rely on audiences and ticket sales to make a living. Without the revenue from concerts and tours, the majority of musicians are struggling to hang on.
However, because of technology and connecting social media, concert musicians are finding ways to share their art and support their fans. On March 29, the iHeart Living Room Concert for America, hosted by Elton John, was broadcasted on TV, featuring artists like Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Mariah Carey, and more. The concert amassed over 10 million dollars in COVID-19 relief donations, but the concert also encourages donations to Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation, organizations that are also contributing to relief.
Other artists have online concerts of their own. Billie Eilish returned with her brother Finneas on April 22 to perform for Verizon’s #PayItForwardLive, which will support small businesses. Post Malone streamed live the next day on his YouTube channel to support The United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Elvis Duran’s Stay At Home Ball, also held that day, featured Thomas Rhett, Lewis Capaldi, Train, and more to fund Project C.U.R.E. Foundation in support of medical supplies hospitals.
As for upcoming concerts, you can find schedules for artists and their events at Billboard.
Classical musicians have also found ways to cope with the concert cancellations. On April 12th, Andrea Bocelli sang in Duomo di Milano in his live Music for Hope Concert which was streamed on his YouTube channel. Orchestras have recorded pieces virtually, including The New York Youth Symphony’s rendition of Mahler’s 1st Symphony, the New York Philharmonic’s version of Boléro, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic’s interpretation of Ode to Joy. Many artists also take to social media to post daily snippets of their work and to perform songs in support of health care workers and those greatly affected by the virus.
Lady Gaga and Global Citizen recently teamed up to organize the One World: Together At Home live concert which streamed on April 18th. Featuring mainstream pop artists, classical musicians, and night show hosts, the event brought together artists from all genres to support the World Health Organization and those that are fighting on the front lines.
Although COVID-19 has halted in-person concerts, it has not stopped musical artists all over the world from sharing their art and their support for those battling the virus. In fact, through social media and online sharing, musicians have built a stronger global community to uplift and encourage each other through a common love of music. As the quarantine progresses, we can for sure look forward to more concerts, posts, and live streams from our favorite singers and instrumentalists.
By Jessica Jiang