If one thing is clear to musicians, performers, artistes, promoters and patrons of live events by this time it’s this – pandemics are a huge obstacle to our collective fun.
We’ve seen thousands of live global events cancelled because of the Corona Virus and the successive measures that had to be put in place by governments to curb the spread.
With the number of lives claimed by the virus rising to the hundreds of thousands, COVID-19 has proven to be more than an unpleasant delayer of outings, live events and engagements.
You almost can’t escape a sense of guilt for having fun and “gallivanting,” as our elders would say, while millions lay ill in hospitals and at home.
Understand that pandemics are a pain all-round
Perhaps some of us are somewhat removed from the direct impact of the virus and so the losses feel very remote. But I’m certain we can all attest to the effects this pandemic has had.
If we haven’t caught it ourselves, we may have a relative who contracted the virus. Or maybe there’s a friend, colleague or neighbour.
Is there Penicillin for the postponement of our live event experiences?
Unfortunately to top off all this unpleasantness, the virus has disrupted an entire sector.
Some parts of the entertainment industry have lost billions of dollars in revenue. So many workers formerly employed in the field are now financially displaced. This has really had devastating repercussions for their respective families.
Nothing has quite been able to stave off the onslaught, and disgruntled patrons have fewer places to go in their down time.
And can you imagine the sense of bewilderment many performers feel now that they are stuck at home? Whereas they would have grown accustomed to touring and hitting the stages weekly sometimes in different parishes, cities, and maybe even continents, this has been reduced to cinders.
How do we overcome all this?
The great news is that despite the challenges that we’re facing all around the world, there really is a way to vaccinate ourselves against being as severely disrupted as we’ve been in 2020.
Before this year, the majority of our events were entirely live and in-person. There’s something uniquely special about sitting or standing in a packed room and feeling the rush of adrenaline as your favourite artiste sings, plays or delivers hit after hit from their famed catalogue.
Hearing and feeling the collective energy as other fans gorge themselves on the musical festivities can be addictive.
If live music festivals or shows aren’t your thing, maybe walking the floors of an art gallery and gazing on painted masterpieces suits your fancy. What would that be without your fellow art enthusiasts? Who would you sip Merlot with while debating whether the brush strokes on the canvas did an excellent job of showcasing the textures, tints, hues and tones you all expected to see?
Whatever the case may be, we all like a good social gathering and nothing quite beats communing in person. Yet, there’s a way for promoters and artistes to redefine themselves given the experiences of 2020.
What if we rebranded and repacked our creative products in such a way that our craft was diversified? What if we transcended the limited domain of live performances and began to include the virtual space as a staple product?
The creatives that thrived in 2020 despite the pandemic were, to a great extent, those who either adapted quickly to the “new normal” and went virtual, or those who already had virtual systems in place.
Stay connected with cloud technology
I believe the way to beat the threat the creative industry faces is to put the respective crafts in the cloud.
If managers, booking agents, promoters, event planners, artistes and all the other stakeholders in the creative and performing arts were to consider truly harnessing the power of the internet to showcase talent and connect with global and local audiences, pandemics wouldn’t be quite as effective at compromising the incomes and lives of the creatives.
We’re seeing some of this now with a significant number of performers and event hosts taking their shows online in a new wave of virtual live events. No doubt, it will take people some getting used to, but it would appear to me that if the research findings of the experts in disease control have any merit, pandemics are likely here to stay and will recur from time to time.
That means patrons and performers alike will have to either make the most of the virtual experience or lose massive seasons of production to pandemics.
There are now many tools available that provide the necessary support for performers to connect with audiences, secure ticket sales and revenue, plan and execute all aspects of their creative productions.
Creators and their management teams should invest the time and finances in the training and exposure to those tools that they need to beat this plague. And once this is over, I’m almost certain that their fans and supporters will appreciate the resiliency which they were able demonstrate and the industry will thrive once more.