Party On

Against the Covid-19 headwinds, the music events industry adapts.

By Edmund Wee      11 September 2020

Musicians and pop stars are also taking to the livestreaming bandwagon since the crisis hit, ranging from Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus to Singaporean acts such as Jeremy Monteiro and JJ Lin. Lee explained: “People are no longer able to attend concerts and live gigs, but are instead turning to livestreams and content that musicians are putting into the digital sphere.” Even club DJs are turning to livestreaming their sets. In March this year, Zouk collaborated with Razer to curate a series of closeddoor sets – “Cloud Clubbing” – that they hosted on livestreaming platform BIGO Live. The online event drew nearly 1.2 million viewers across Asia.

Yet there are detractors who believe that the virtual experience is not on par with that of live performances. Lee said: “The energy that you get from being in a room filled with a few hundred people enjoying the same music at the same time is vastly different from experiencing a party through a screen.”

But Ng suggested that there might be a silver lining. “Viewers can engage with the artistes and send in their comments via various chat functions, which they may not be able to do during live performances at venues,” she said.

A silver lining amid the pandemic is how music events companies are forced to innovate and create more engaging content for viewers.

Ultimately, it all boils down to innovative engagement methods, Lee added. Citing the example of Zouk Digital, which launched its own social media channels, he said: “To ensure that we are
providing our followers with the best content, beyond weekly live DJ sets, we even curated fitness, cocktail masterclasses and DJ interview sessions into our usual programmes.”

Despite Covid-19, Ng remained optimistic. “The way forward will be with limited audience numbers, which may mean more personalised experiences,” she said. “The incorporation of digital technology in physical theatre or concert performances could also be a new way forward. The possibilities are endless. This could mean using virtual reality or other forms of technology. This also makes collaboration possible between artistes in different countries.”


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