Will Major UK Festivals Be Following The Livestream Trend In 2020?

Will Major UK Festivals Be Following The Livestream Trend In 2020?

2020 has become a completely different year to what we expected, when it began in January. Plans were in place, and headliners were being confirmed for major UK festivals such as Glastonbury, and Reading and Leeds. With the outbreak of Coronavirus in March affecting the world as we know it, of course festivals made the sensible decision to pull the plug following government guidelines to abolish mass gatherings. Musicians and concert venues alike began to cancel shows, and live music as we knew it, ceased to exist. 

With no live performances likely to take place until at least August or September, and even that remaining dubious for the time being, with the UK having remained in a form of lockdown since late March. Due to flurrying anxieties that were swirling regarding the global pandemic, the future of healthcare resources, our economies and the survival of many local businesses. With lockdown looming over us, we as individuals had no choice but to adapt to the strange changes in our existence. Despite all of this taking its toll, we continued to progress, and all hope for live music was not lost.

It wasn’t long before musicians, being the natural creatives and entertainers that they are, came up with an innovative way to still engage with their audiences and bring joy by providing a heartfelt distraction. Thus, what was an occasional treat for fans, such as a livestream Q&A, or an intimate at home gig, became the norm. Almost every artist I can put my mind to, has now hosted a live stream session on a social media platform of some form. Music fans are rejoicing, and the trend is really skyrocketing at a time when live music feels so lost to us all, and we feel so lost ourselves. 

By musicians hosting their own live stream gigs, and so many thousands of fans tuning in. It wasn’t long before blogs, music publications and websites began tapping into this, and the livestream festival was born. Often spanning over the course of a weekend, Livestream Festivals such as DIY Magazine’s DIYsolation Festival, or more recently Dork’s Homeschool Festival, have given a platform to hundreds of emerging indie and alternative artists. Bills have included the likes of rising Welsh band Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, Manchester’s Phoebe Green, Brighton-based Porridge Radio and Cambridge’s Cavetown.

Livestream Festivals such as DIY’s DIYsolation Festival, or more recently Dork’s Homeschool Festival, have given a platform to hundreds of emerging indie and alternative artists.

With these festivals doing so well for emerging artists, whilst also helping contribute donations to our NHS and key workers. The phenomenon is only growing. Why would this not be something huge stars would want to be a part of too? It’s left me wondering, with summer soon arriving and major festivals not set to go ahead, will we be watching our Glastonbury Headliners via a livestream performance instead? 

Just imagine the help and funding, events on this scale, could provide for research charities, food banks, the NHS, and many more. It would be groundbreaking.

If UK festivals opted for a not for profit approach, as so many magazines and music websites have already done successfully. Just imagine the help and funding, events on this scale, could provide for research charities, food banks, the NHS, and many more. It would be groundbreaking. With live streams becoming such a popular form of entertainment, surely this could be an idea worth investing in?

Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage
(Image Credits: nme.com)

There would be obvious hurdles and festival organisers would have to treat those who had bought tickets to the physical festivals with care and consideration, however if refunds are already issued for festivals not going ahead this year, or if ticket-holders are offered a place for next years festival instead. If live streams were billed as taking place and shared with us all, surely that would be an amazing uplifting experience for everyone. 

Major festivals would have the social media knowledge, marketing tools and funding to hopefully deliver a polished and professional livestream experience. Drawing on inspiration from those festivals I have mentioned previously, created by music magazines DIY and Dork. Both festivals to the viewing eye ran without so much as hiccup. Granted I do not know what had gone on behind the scenes, but I avidly watched both and they were fantastic. DIY chose Instagram as their provider, and acts had hour long slots on Instagram live to perform. Dork continue to host their festival on their own website, instead opting to harness a mixture of live and recently pre-recorded content, to showcase acts over a number of different stages with varying slot times. As well as performances, both festivals also had different angles such as artist radio shows, story telling, comedy and so on. This worked wonderfully well for both events, and I for one thoroughly enjoyed. Very generously the publications also donated all funds raised to charity or the NHS. 

Let’s hope I’ve predicted the next big thing here, and this is already something the likes of Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, Download and many more are keenly looking into. Imagine the varying genres each could offer, the donations just one festival alone could drum up. Live streams are proving to be immensely popular and personally I feel it would be a trend our innovative and ever-changing festivals could certainly build into something stratospheric . 

Live Stream Sessions: Lockdown Listening

Live Stream Sessions: Lockdown Listening

Musicians are providing us with an intimate live performance, from their home to ours.

Whilst the world is in lockdown, it may seem as though gigs and live music are a distant memory for many of us. However, even in these strange times, there is one shining beacon that is continuing to bring joy to music lovers, and it is a phenomenon that is sweeping across the music scene.

Live stream sessions, are becoming increasingly popular, with hundreds if not thousands tuning in to watch their favourite artists performing on social media platforms, such as Instagram.

Musicians are providing us with an intimate live performance, from their home to ours. We are given possibly the closest insight into their lives, that we may ever have. Combined with the fact that these performances are so beautifully DIY, there is just something so raw and real about them, that makes them wonderfully special.

We see first-hand those little swirls of nervousness, chit-chat with fans, nods to watching family members, stumbles in their performances and laughter. The songs we love are stripped back to their bones, often we can be gifted to an acoustic rendition we may never have heard before. Personally, I feel as though we’re experiencing music in what could be its purest form. It is as though we are hearing the songs we love, in their original demo format, and there is just something so blissfully rewarding about that.

Even though these shows are being brought to us over our phone, tablet, or laptop screens. So far, I have yet to notice any terribly bad sound quality or severe lagging issues. I guess it is a little nod to how good our modern-day technology really is; often taken for granted, but it is in times like these we realise how important it is.

During a period of isolation, live stream gigs are creating a sense of togetherness. Music fans are interacting over live chats, sharing their favourite songs, moments, and memories together. All whilst enjoying a unique performance from their favourite musicians.

Album Listening Parties, Social Media Account Take-Overs, Q&As… the list goes on. It is remarkable how many wonderful, innovative ways we as humans are finding, to enable us to still hold on to that sense of community we share, by continuing to discover and create.

Their existence is bringing so much joy and happiness to our new found world, whilst also helping to combat those feelings of loneliness that many are incurring. High praise is certainly deserving to the artists contributing. Despite this being a period which will certainly go down in the history books as something terrible, in an obscure way it is also helping me to see how much goodness there really is in this world, solely from our overwhelming love for one another and that sense of community we still strongly share, even though we’re apart.

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COVID-19 and The Music Industry

COVID-19 and The Music Industry

My Thoughts and How We Can Help

Music has been a saviour for so many.
Now it is our turn to save music.

I don’t know where to start with this. All I know is that I hold an immense passion for music and I want to help in this pressing time. I hope that through writing, I will be able to do so.

Sadly, unless you have been living under a rock for the last few months, you will be more than aware of the current health crisis our world is facing. It is without doubt that this is a worrying and uncertain time for almost everyone, and honestly I am struggling to process it all myself. It feels as though we are in some dystopian universe. Unfortunately however, I am more than aware that this is indeed real. I am continually trying my best to remain positive amongst all of this chaos, but it isn’t proving to be an easy task.

Almost everywhere you look COVID-19, otherwise known as the Coronavirus, is being talked about. It has sent our world into a state of panic, and has had an impact on each of our day to day lives. In particular, a part of our world that I hold very close to my heart is being hit hard. The music industry, and at its very core, our independent venues and emerging musicians.

Many independent music venues exist as small businesses. With mass gatherings such as gigs being discouraged for the time being, they will struggle to survive. Recently many of them have made the completely selfless decision to close amid this health scare. They have put the health and safety of everyone above their businesses.

Other venues have no choice but to stay open, not for thoughtless reasons, but because heartbreakingly they have no other option for their future to remain intact. Officially the government haven’t yet forced music venues to close, which means that by closing, many will not be covered by insurance. They have been placed in a very awkward situation. Anger and vengeance are being directed towards venues if they close, and if they stay open, which is awful to witness.

Whether these venues close or stay open, is not what I want to dwell upon in this post, as I know this is currently a topic for debate. However, I urge that from reading this, you join myself and many others in helping to support these venues and emerging bands in whatever way we can. We are all music lovers, and when this all hopefully comes to an end, we have to ask ourselves – how will we feel if these venues cease to exist? Without venues there will be limited spaces for our emerging artists to flourish and we could lose a very big part of our culture too. That could be the harsh reality we are potentially looking at in the not so distant future. 

Organisation such as the Music Venue Trust and Independent Venue Week are posting regular updates and information on how you can support venues at such a crucial stage. Each venue in your local area will also be keeping everyone up to date via social media too. It is worth keeping an eye on your favourite bands too, as they may be feeling a little lost, especially if they had a tour planned.

I have been scouring the internet and my brain for ways to help, and have compiled a little list of some ideas which we could try, to reach out and support music venues so that they remain loved and looked after during this difficult time. Likewise many bands have had their tours postponed too, so they will need lots of love and encouragement. Please use these tips for both.

♡ Follow, share and like their social media posts. Build up future audiences. Keep the momentum and love for live music going

♡ Look out for online gig streaming. Many local venues and bands are now looking towards this as an alternative to real life gigs

♡ Keep hold of tickets for shows that have been cancelled and rescheduled for a later date, instead of requesting a refund

♡ Sign the MVT Petition for our government to force music venues to close so that they will have further financial support


♡ If you can afford to and fancy an addition to your wardrobe, buy their merch. Many of your favourite music hubs have t-shirts and merchandise you may never have known about. Now is the time to look. Bands will have vinyls and all sorts online too, so check out their websites.

♡ Organise or contribute to a fundraiser, again this one is only if you are financially happy to. Don’t feel pressurised. 

♡ Keep talking about our live venues, don’t let them fade away into the background. Future dates outside of March/April are still in place for now. Hype up your favourite bands and music venues on social media! They will still have tickets to sell online. 

♡ Love and support one another. If you don’t agree with a venues choice to close or stay open, then sending a torrent of abuse their way certainly won’t help anything. Support and encourage bands to keep writing and recording songs. We will never stop listening.

Always be kind. 

♡ Blast your favourite music out LOUD! By doing this you are also supporting musicians in a huge way! We may not be able to go to a gig, but we can cheer ourselves up all the same.

Music is a powerful message. 

Basically I am of the belief that we’re better solving this together than apart, despite the social distancing of course.
We’re all going to need each other in this situation. Music Venues, Venue Staff, Gig Promoters, Musicians… the list goes on. The Music Industry as a whole and fans alike, I’m talking to you. We all require our wonderful music community more so now than ever, so let’s remain a glorious crowd.

Music has been a saviour for so many. Now it is our turn to save music.

If you have any further suggestions on ways we can all help, please comment below.
I kindly ask you to share this post far and wide.

I’m sending lots of love to you all!

Together we can make a difference ♡