Let The Music Play! The Future of Gigs - What To Expect?
Updated: Nov 20, 2020
With rules and restrictions changing so frequently, it’s hard to predict what will happen next. Crowded gatherings were the first to be shut down earlier this year and as a result, we saw a record number of cancellations of sold-out shows which devastated the nation. Many music venues had such a blow from all of this that there was no option but to close their doors for good, while others are still holding on by a thread by opening as safely as they can. The O2 Arena had to cut its audience numbers dramatically reducing from the usual 20,000 to only 4,700 so it could open safely and host gigs. Safe to say the near future will be different. But this whole thing is only temporary and we will get there, we just need to find new, innovative ways to fill this period until we get back on track.
Live audiences are such an important part of the experience and atmosphere of an event and even though at one point it seemed an impossibility, as time goes on and we adjust to this new way of living, people are coming up with all sorts of creative ideas so that we can get back to doing the things we love.
We have some very realistic predictions when it comes to the future of gigging and we’re happy to see a few ideas already up and running. They may get wilder than this or it may get back to normal quicker than expected. We are just grateful that as a community, artists and fans are coming together to make things happen in more intimate and exciting ways.
Virtual & VR
Well on the way already, most artists have performed this way by now. From intimate gigs from their kitchen to hiring out the best venues and putting on performances as if it were the real thing. All recorded live and streamed through to our screens whilst we watch and admire in our comfy clothes. Before this year, we were well ahead with VR concerts too, with many legends like Elton John holding performances of their tour in virtual reality where fans could access 360-degree sensational shows from the icons.
If you have seen The Flaming Lips live before then you know the kind of vibes and prop-heavy gigs they put on. They were zorbing across the audience before they even knew how futuristically relevant they were being. So when it comes to thinking up innovative ways to socially distance a gig they really didn’t have to take much thought into deciding that the audience should be in zorbs this time around. You never get much personal space at a gig so this is revolutionary, say goodbye to people knocking your drinks out your hands and screaming in your ears although toilet trips are questionable. Watch a snippet of the gig on here.
In the past, we have been very impressed by hologram performances of iconic legends from the past and it’s incredible how it works. Now we are sure it’s quite a complex procedure, but maybe this could happen in our own homes, or in a safe outside space where we can gather as many people as restrictions allow at the time and out pops a hologram of our favourite artist for our own personal performance.
Drive-ins are everywhere. There have already been festivals, cinemas and comedy nights across the country this summer, all enjoyed from the seat of our cars. It also has its perks, no more aches from standing up, no more losing your friends. We could get used to having all this space to focus on watching the performances instead of worrying about not seeing anything at all. Drive-in gigs will follow suit as we know this popular concept is working perfectly.
Taking the example from the theatre show Immersive Gatsby, which opened its doors hassle-free by inviting the audience to attend dressed up in appropriate attire for a masquerade ball. It fits perfectly with the theme of the show, but we are wondering potentially that music artists could interpret mask-wearing audiences at their shows too. Perhaps encouraging fancy dress that reflects the album name or theme, band branded masks were given out on entry, or maybe ones that flash like the xylobands given out at stadiums.
Upcoming Gigs For You To Book
James Bay at The Shakespeare’s Globe (Live Stream) - 21st October
Billie Eilish - Where Do We Go? (Live Stream) - 24th October
Sam Smith at Abbey Road Studio (Live Stream) - 30th October
Nick Cave at Alexandra Palace (Live Stream) - 5th November
Niall Horan at The Royal Albert Hall (Live Stream) - 7th November