There aren’t a lot of things to celebrate in a pandemic, but luckily, virtual concerts are growing in popularity. Since social distancing became a requirement, musicians have taken to Facebook Live and other platforms to perform live concerts that fans can attend from home.
No more waiting around for the show to start, no more people elbowing to get closer to the stage, no more trying to remember that dyke’s name and if you like her or not, no more running into your ex, and best of all, no more small talk. These socially distant concerts are ideal for introvert queers like me who don’t like to leave the house. Since the start of the pandemic, some of my favorite lesbian artists who have been doing Facebook Live concerts include Melissa Etheridge, The Indigo Girls, Melissa Ferrick, and Mary Lambert.
Everything about this moment in history feels unbelievable and surreal, but live concerts are the key to making your day feel less like you’re locked in a cell and more like you’re enjoying the world through a window. At the beginning of one Indigo Girls live concert — which was virtually attended by over 48,000 fans — Amy Ray opened with, “I’m praying people find their chosen family and find a safe place to be.” It was a sweet and important reminder that, while many of us are able to shelter in place in our own homes or with our partners, many LGBTQ+ youths are in situations that are unsafe, due to unsupportive family or not-permanent living situations.
The comment sections are the best part of digital live concerts; they’re not just full of song requests and sweet messages to the artist, but also hopeful dispatches from music lovers all over the world. There’s also something completely charming about seeing your favorite musicians playing the songs you love in the familiar embrace of their own homes. Between songs, fans get more of a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their private lives. Artists talk about their wives, the challenges of homeschooling their kids, how they’re structuring their days, and what it’s like to make sense of the unfamiliar technology needed to make these shows happen. Warning: Artists may appear sideways for a few minutes until a wife or helper flips the phone.
Ultimately, we’re all still figuring out how to adjust to this new normal (if you could call buying toilet paper in bulk, only seeing friends through video calls, and worrying the grocery store is unsafe “normal”). Those of us who usually work from home may find comfort in carrying on our typical daytime routines, but for others, working and performing from home is a whole new world. And that includes musicians who intended to spend the spring on tour but had to cancel due to the pandemic.
These artists — particularly the smaller and more indie musicians — are throwing up links to Venmo and PayPal accounts in the information for their Facebook Live shows. If you’re able to, think about tipping the musicians, as they’re continuing to bring happiness to their fans at a net loss for themselves. These people keep us happy and entertained!
If you’re looking for a show that will make you forget about quarantine for a while, here’s a list of some upcoming digital concerts to remind you that there can still be some happiness in this darkness.
March 29th — Sarah MacDougall and Ivan Coyote “Alone Together.”
March 30th — With Coachella postponed, James Corden is hosting “HomeFest” from his house on March 30th. This virtual music festival has some pretty big artists involved, including BTS, Billie Eilish, and Dua Lipa — all of whom will be performing from their own homes.
April 3rd — Indigo Girls and Melissa Ferrick promised during their live concerts that they would do more as the quarantine situation continues, but no dates have currently been scheduled. However, Amy Ray (of the Indigo Girls) is doing a “Shut In & Sing” online show on Stage It at 8 p.m. on April 3rd.
April 10th — Mouths of Babes.
Every Day — Melissa Etheridge, who is completely rocking this whole quarantine concert thing, is doing daily live shows seven days a week at 6 p.m. EST (3 p.m. PDT) on her Facebook page.
Looking for more concerts? I suggest following your favorite artists on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages (which you should be doing anyway). Some of the concerts have been pre-planned with announcements going up days in advance, while others have been surprises — which doesn’t lend itself to making plans in advance. But since most of us really have nowhere to be, last-minute concerts are easy to attend. They’re fun, spontaneous, and couldn’t be easier — you don’t even have to take off your pajamas!