Countless concerts and festivals have been cancelled worldwide due to the pandemic. Nonetheless, “Music is not cancelled”, at least according to Songkick when advertising their first YouTube live stream festival, “PlayOn Fest”, where film recordings of several artists were set to play from April 24th to April 27th.
This event took place, not only to provide entertainment for music addicts like me, but also to raise funds for the World Health Organization (WHO). Merch was also available for purchase, with all proceeds going towards the organization.
They had already hosted and uploaded several live streams from various artists, but this was their virtual festival, where Coldplay (among others) played on the first day.
Yes, I know what you are thinking, “uhg Coldplay”, but they are a guilty pleasure of mine, so please don’t hate!
I had never seen Coldplay live, so by the end of the live stream’s first song, my initial reaction was: “Wow. That was… wow”. I was definitely NOT expecting such an outstanding performance.
Even if he weren’t 43 (so 41 at the time), the amount of energy displayed on stage, how flawlessly he hit the notes despite running around the stage and jumping/dancing, not to mention his surprising ability to alternate between slow emotional songs on the piano to uplifting ones with a huge smile on his face, left me shook, to say the least.
Say what you will about Coldplay’s songs, but the band puts on an incredible performance.
Other artists have also been going live on Twitch, a platform initially meant for gamers, but that has recently been invaded by musicians.
Last Sunday, for example, Falling in Reverse’s lead singer, Ronnie Radke, went live under the pretense of it being a “benefit stream for The Word Alive”.
Radke has endured a lot of controversy over the years. However, by raising money and visibility for this lesser-known but equally talented band, he seems to be putting the extra time the international lockdown has been giving him to good use!
Another, much more large-scale, example of a celebrity using their fame to raise money and awareness, is Lady Gaga’s One World: Together At Home, which was a digital music show that went live on Saturday, April 18th over multiple platforms including YouTube, Amazon Prime, Twitch, and Twitter.
This music show was made in collaboration with Global Citizen and the WHO to raise funds for COVID-19 relief; it also featured artists such as Billie Eilish, Chris Martin, Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder, to name a few.
A total of $127.9 million USD was raised with this event alone, part of which will be used to support WHO, as well as the vaccine development alliance between Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and UNICEF. Another part will be allocated to over 100 local and regional charities.
According to Global Citizen, “Changemakers, investors, and foundation leaders came together to contribute quickly to related efforts, like strengthening health care systems and investing in vaccine development.”
By Sophie Dufresne