As the world continues to advocate social distancing (at the very least), many artists from across the globe have taken to the internet to ensure that fans still have access to live music.
With the number of online live performances only set to increase, we’ve pulled together some handy tips on how to find out what is going on, as well as collating some of our favourites from the last few days.
Across all of these streams, the sense of community remains strong, whilst offering a very personal insight into the world of the artist. With added raw magic, it’s the kind of genuine human connection we are all longing for.
How to find the best live stream gigs
A vast number of websites, social media platforms, artists, venues and record labels have been quick to turn to online live-streaming.
Follow the artist
If you don’t already, now is the time to follow your favourite artist on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more. The most direct way of finding out if an artist is preparing for a unique online gig is directly from the horse’s mouth. Keep reading for some great examples of things that have already happened.
Follow the record label
If the music you love seems to be coming from a small number of record labels, follow them too. Independent label Specialist Subject – for example – recently brought together the likes of Jeff Rosenstock, AJJ and more for a global live-stream spectacular. Plenty more have and will follow suit.
Follow your favourite venues
A number of venues are hosting their own series of live-streamed events, including Liverpool’s Jimmy’s. Starting with The Amazons’ Matt Thomson, the venue aims to host a unique show every night at 9PM until further notice. Tune in on their Instagram page.
Check out dedicated websites and news sites
Dedicated sites are emerging listing many of the online live-streaming gigs set to take place. Two of these include WhoNeeds.live and Stay At Home Festival, both creating comprehensive calendars of live-stream events. Brooklyn Vegan are also regularly posting lists of live-streaming gigs.
Rolling Stone have announced their In My Room IGTV series, kicking off with Brian Wilson and scheduled to take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 19:00 (GMT). Check it out on their Instagram.
In the wake of the cancelled SWSX Festival in Austin, Texas, PRS For Music, AIM, BBC, PPL, BPI, DIY and more have held closed-door sessions at The Mill Studio in London, so keep an eye out for those, too.
Glasgow based artists has teamed up to launch Music For The Isolated Generation, a series a live shows happening through Facebook.
This is just scratching the surface. Many more online live events are expected to appear over the coming weeks, with more and more announced each day.
Some of the best live-stream gigs so far
iHeart Living Room Concert for America
Hosted by Elton John, the likes of Billie Eilish, Dave Grohl, Alicia Keys, Lizzo, Camila Cabello, Backstreet Boys, Tim McGraw, Billie Joe Armstrong, Sam Smith, and more all streamed live performances from their homes to raise funds for emergency services workers.
Camilla Cabello and Shawn Mendes
The real-life couple promoted social distancing with a special collaborative set filmed in their back garden, chatting to fans and performing hits such as Lost In Japan, Havana, and Señorita.
Sat at his piano, James Blake treated fans to a beautiful hour of live music intertwining his own material with covers of tracks from artists such as Joni Mitchell, Billie Eilish, Radiohead, and Frank Ocean.
NPR’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concert Series
NPR have revamped their world-famous Tiny Desk concert series with a brand new at-home edition. Soccer Mommy kicked things off performing tracks from her latest record Colour Theory.
Coldplay’s Chris Martin
On Monday Coldplay’s Chris Martin announced on Instagram: “If anyone feels like chatting and listening to some music, I’m going to do a livestream on the Coldplay Instagram.” He goes on to explain that the band are currently stuck in different countries and that he’ll be taking requests in the comments. So check out Sky Full Of Stars, Trouble, Viva La Vida and more.
Country star Keith Urban streamed live from his warehouse in Nashville with lots of guitars and amps in the background, giving it that extra bit of true rock n roll. The singer was meant to perform in Houston that same night but the show was postponed due to the current situation. During the 30-minute set you can catch Nicole Kidman dancing along and having the best time.
P!nk not only gave us an amazing acoustic performance from her home but also a bit of a piano lesson. She covers Adele’s Make You Feel My Love, and does so absolutely stunningly. If you want to get goosebumps for about three minutes, watch her live stream below.
No pants but all the vocal goodness comes courtesy of John Legend as he picks up Chris Martin’s #TogetherAtHome challenge, captioning his hour-long set with: “Social distancing is important, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. I did a little at-home performance to help lift your spirits”. Not to forget, Chrissy Teigen let her followers pick her outfit for the performance and you’ll never guess what it is.
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Social distancing is important, but that doesn't mean it has to be boring. I did a little at-home performance to help lift your spirits. @Miguel, @CharliePuth – you want next? Learn more about how you can take action to help slow the spread of coronavirus with our partners at @WHO and @GlblCtzn globalcitizen.org/coronavirus #TogetherAtHome
Christine And The Queens
Coming at you hot from Christine And The Queens is not one but a series of live streams the artist is hosting every day at 10pm (GMT) with “guests and weird concepts” for in-studio-sets at Ferber Studios in Paris. The first set saw her perform her latest single People, I’ve Been Sad.
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Juste comme ça, vers 18 heures, parce que c’est assez joli de se donner un rendez-vous ensemble chaque jour pour tromper l’ennui. Concepts douteux et invités mystère sont à prévoir dans les jours qui viennent. Courage et prenez soin de vous #ensembleàlamaison Let’s meet everyday around 6pm CET on my Instagram. I’ll find a way to deal with the ENNUI. Guests and weird concepts included. Today : @bastien__d @_melissambre_ @vincent.taurelle
Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard
Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard had plans for a solo tour next month which has been postponed, so instead every day at 11pm (GMT) he’ll be giving you a new solo set from his home studio. For the first performance Ben covered Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees and treated us to Death Cab’s own Crooked Teeth.
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@gibbstack had a great time playing a few acoustic songs live for you all on Youtube / Facebook today! Watch the replay here if you missed the livestream. Tune in again tomorrow and everyday for the next two weeks on Youtube / Facebook Live at 4pm PT daily for more Ben livestreams – link in bio. Let’s all make hanging out at home a little more fun together in these difficult times. If you’re able, please consider donating to teenfeed.org to help support homeless and at-risk youth. Visit headcount.org (@headcountorg) to make sure you are registered to vote. Thank you, see you again tomorrow at 4pm PT!
Yungblud turned live streaming into an art by creating The Yungblud Show with guests Machine Gun Kelly, Bella Thorne and Oliver Tree. In-between sets at The Beehive studios in California, Yungblud took questions from fans across the world, creating his own punk rock version of a Saturday night talkshow.
U2’s Bono didn’t just broadcast a set, he premiered a whole new song as a St Patrick’s Day gift that he composed in an hour, stating: “A little tune, made up here about an hour ago. I think it’s called Let Your Love Be Known – let me know what you think.” He captioned the video with: “For the Italians who inspired [the song]… for the Irish… for ANYONE who this St. Patrick’s day is in a tight spot and still singing. For the doctors, nurses, carers on the front line, it’s you we’re singing to.”
Celebrating their hugely acclaimed Underneath LP release, and forced to cancel their highly anticipated album release show, Pittsburgh metallers Code Orange went ahead with their show, only without an audience. The whole face-melting thing can be found on Twitch.
Meditation with Lizzo
Besides live streamed sets, there’s also a handful of artists keeping us sane with meditation, guitar lessons or mental health talks. Queen Lizzo is leading the pack with the meditation session we never knew we needed. Captioned a “meditation and mantra to promote healing during this global crisis. Use at your own pace. Love you!”, the video sees Lizzo playing the flute, giving us inspirational talks and guiding us in meditation. We are going to play this on repeat every day, thank you Lizzo!
Chatting mental health with Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus has set up a series of live streams with Dr Amen talking about staying positive in dark times and how to support your mental health. “Let’s talk about negative thoughts and we can stop ourselves being eating alive by the ants”, she says opening the broadcasting session.
Learning guitar with Arkells
Canadian rock outfit Arkells are teaching their fans how to play guitar. Frontman Max Kerman noted jokingly: “It’s not rocket science what we do”. Having previously posted the tablature to various of their tracks, the band are now live streaming lessons, too.
For more live-streams from across the world of entertainment, be sure to follow the steps above. Engage with artists, labels and venues across social media for more.