Virtual Concerts Bring People Together While Social-Distancing

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By Anthony Cavarretta, Staff Writer

As people around the world adjust to living under stay-at-home orders, some are using their free time and creativity to help themselves and others make it through.

With nonessential businesses closed throughout the United States and government authorities cancelling gatherings of over 50 people, people may collectively experience a feeling of isolation from friends, loved ones and co-workers; however, this has not stopped people from banding together in new ways to stay connected to those they miss the most.

Several musical artists and institutions took their live shows and entertainment online to share their art and bring some joy into living rooms around the world. Local Long Island musician Mike Barry had to adjust during this quarantine period just like everyone else.

“It’s tough. I normally do 30-40 shows a month; since March 14, it’s down to zero,” he said. “So, the actual act of driving somewhere, setting up, playing to an audience, breaking down gear and driving home no longer exists.”

With the idea of virtual shows becoming more and more popular, Barry has switched to doing virtual home shows on Facebook twice a week just to stay active.

“Most musicians are doing just that and setting up a virtual tip cup for revenue,” he said.

“Though I heard that Facebook may discontinue that due to stress on the server, we’ll see, Barry said. “Otherwise, I am just rehearsing, writing music, trying to stay creative.”

Some students are enjoying these virtual concerts. Nicholas Mattina, a senior broadcasting major, said he really likes the idea of watching concerts online from the comfort of his home.

Several concert tours were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and fans are disappointed they will have to wait or possibly miss the chance to attend these shows.

“The artists are doing a great job bringing the shows to their fans via Instagram, YouTube, etc. I was planning on buying tickets to go see one of my favorite bands but it was cancelled,” Mattina said. “Luckily, they did a short livestream performing some of their songs as well as covers.”

All of these online concerts serve the purpose to not only keep musicians in business, but to keep everyone together during difficult times.

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