Online Shows: A Relief During COVID
Covid has been hell for our community. For almost the last year and a half, many of us have been unable to see friends from this community and are isolated away from those we care for. We are unable to do things that many of us took for granted before the pandemic. And while some festivals started to pop up sometime this spring, this summer seems to when a majority of the places here in the United States have started to fully open up and allow festivals and shows to start up again. I know that where I live in Seattle that they are opening up clubs and festivals at the beginning of July. As we finally are getting the ball rolling for opening the events, I wanted to reflect on this time and some of the struggles as experienced by someone in the community. Online shows were a huge sense of relief for me.
For a bit of background,
I was in the process of moving from Las Vegas to Missoula, Montana due to work and to be a little closer to family. Then COVID hit. This accelerated my plans to move by over a month and I left Vegas the day the city was shut down. Originally, I was going to try and meet people in the rave community in Missoula, however, thanks to COVID there were no shows anywhere. Raving has been my main way of forming new friendships over the last couple due to my anxiety and because of this, I was unable to really form any social connections in the 11 months that I lived in that city. While I am beyond thankful for the family I have out there made sure I wasn’t completely isolated, I still felt very alone and after almost a year I chose to move back to my home city of Seattle so I could be near both family and friends.
While in Missoula, I did find one way to alleviate my isolation from my community and that was the online shows. With the pandemic was in full swing, many artists and EDM organizations started to livestream different events online. Whether it was previously recorded sets from different festivals, artists playing from home, and even full newly recorded sets for online festivals, there was almost always something you could find online. Some of my personal favorites were Seven Lions streams, Slander streaming one of his sets from his tour, and the entirety of both Couch Lands and the Tomorrow Land New Years’ Eve Online Festival. While these online shows couldn’t replace a live show, these events helped those of us isolated to have some sense of normalcy.
As things open up and more live shows start happening, I hope artists see that livestreams and online festivals still have a place in our community, even now.
They are a great way for people to listen to music. This is especially true if they do not have the time/money to go to shows, and I do believe artists have noticed this. Illenium has recently announced that his Trilogy show will be live-streamed to the world and I have heard other artists and event organizers are looking at possibly doing do the same for other shows and festivals. I hope to see these online events still have a strong following even after COVID and artists continue to experiment with different ways to view these events.