How COVID-19 is Reshaping Live Performance

Photo courtesy of Kelly Sikkema on

Adam Bear, Staff Writer

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, live, in-person performances have been practically impossible to stage without putting performers and audiences in danger. This, however, creates a dilemma for live performers: how do they make a living while still staying safe? Artists ranging from pop stars to classical musicians have been trying to answer this question, and they’ve come up with a few solutions.

The main medium that live performers have turned to is online performance, which can take many forms. Some performers livestream their performances from home, a studio, or on a stage. There is often an admission fee to watch these streams, as many live performers rely on revenue from performances to support themselves. Some musicians have even taken to streaming weekly or daily on platforms like YouTube or Twitch. Other artists have opted to record their performances, and use a pay-per-view format to distribute the recordings.

Many performers have also used their virtual performances to fundraise for various causes, such as for frontline health workers, the Black Lives Matter movement, or funds to support live performers that are currently out of work. Even celebrities are creating virtual performances to fundraise for various causes.

At the end of the day, what is clear is that live performers need our help to make it through this pandemic. It is important that we all help support artists, whether it’s tuning into a live stream or paying for a virtual performance. By doing this, we can ensure that, after the pandemic, we can all enjoy live, in-person performances once again.