Your favourite artists in your front room? Live streaming rock, opera, ballet, classical music and warehouse raves? It’s all available on a screen near you thanks to the flood of live streams that have popped-up to help us all through self-isolation – and raise funds for Covid-19 relief efforts.
The coronavirus pandemic has cancelled gigs, concerts, musicals, theatrical performances and club nights around the world, and forced people to stay home under lockdown, which has meant artists have had to get extra creative when it comes to finding an audience.
Whether it be musicians, bands, actors, opera singers or DJs, people are taking to the internet to live stream performances, concerts, DJ sets and even mini-festivals in an effort to fill the live entertainment void created by Covid-19.
Below you’ll find our round-up of some of the best live streams and virtual concerts we’ve spotted, from regular performances, to one-off gigs. And, thanks to the wonders of live streams on YouTube, Facebook, Twitch and Instagram, many of the shows will be available to watch long after the live version.
Royal Albert Home
The Royal Albert Hall – yes, the Royal Albert Hall – is hosting a series of Royal Albert Home performances over the coming days and weeks, which will see “artists sharing their work from their homes to yours”. The free streaming programme already includes Rufus Wainwright, Peter Gregson, Brassed Off and many more. You can also donate to the Hall to show your support. On Thursday 30th April at 8.15pm (BST) it’s KT Tunstall.
Shaky Knees Virtual Festival
See headline sets from previous festivals debut exclusively on the Shaky Knees website from Friday 1st May to Sunday 3rd May, you know, like a proper weekend festival. My Morning Jacket headline Friday with their headline set from 2016, while other artists on show include Beck, Bloc Party, Foals, Interpol and The National.
Yes, Radiohead. The band will be posting weekly classic concert videos to their YouTube channel on Thursdays at 10pm BST (5pm ET). And you can watch them back at your leisure. Thursday 30th April it’s Live from Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, from April 2012.
One of the original names in live streaming is well-prepared for entertaining in isolation and has been quick to pull together a Streaming from Isolation series of broadcasts. Look out for regular live shows and classic sets from previous years. We can recommend Dixon’s live stream, complete with mind-boggling visuals. There are a huge number of streams going live, so it’s already a massive resource of live DJ sets and performances, including exclusive new shows from Floating Points, Peggy Gou, Ellen Allien and more.
After a glorious Glastonbury performance last year, Janelle Monae is big news on both sides of the pond and you can catch her performing live on Thursday 30th April at 8pm (ET).
Veteran French record producer has been doing a daily live stream on his Facebook page, mixing records, wearing loud outfits, and generally doing his best to entertain his followers. It’s well worth a look – the archive of performances are up on his page for repeat viewing.
One of the biggest record labels in dance music is hosting virtual festivals of live DJ streams – and dancers! – to keep us entertained. Expect big-name DJs and the chance to watch back at your leisure on Facebook.
The Shows Must Go On
Free West End and Broadway musicals? Sounds good to us. Andrew Lloyd Webber will be streaming his musicals for free online in a new series entitled “The Shows Must Go On”. Shows are live on Fridays at 7pm and available for 48 hours, with a new show every week. Friday 1st May is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Royal Albert Hall Celebration.
If you want to hear a soothing voice in these uncertain times, then you should head over to Norah Jones’ Facebook page. Jones is performing live every week, most recently with a series of Willie Nelson covers to mark the great man’s birthday. The streams are Thursdays at 10pm (BST).
Cold War Kids
Daily “Quarantine Serenades” from Cold War Kids are appearing on Instagram Live with performances of the indie-rock bands best known songs – and audience requests.
Beatport will be running their third music marathon event and this time it’s a drum and bass special, hosted by master-of-all-trades, Goldie. The line-up includes Noisia, Black Sun Empire, Benny L, S.P.Y, Mollie Collins, DJ Marky and more. The bass begins at 2pm (BST) and the Beatport ReConnect event will be raising money for the W.H.O Covid Solidarity fund.
Third Man Records
Jack White’s Third Man Records is always quick to innovate, and the label has already hosted the first of what will be daily live performances for its Third Man Public Access series. Episode 1 featured Luke Schneider and is still available to view on YouTube. Venmo and Paypal options will accompany each show as a way for fans to support the performers.
Rock Gods Metallica have launched a new concert series, #MetallicaMondays, which will see the band stream a complete Metallica live show on the group’s YouTube channel and on Facebook every week. They start at 8pm (EDT) every Friday.
Neil Young is keeping it in the family with his Fireside Sessions – his wife will be filming while he gives a live concert from his living room, presumably by the fire. It looks like his dogs could feature heavily, too. Young is promising a “down-home production, a few songs, a little time together”, which sounds good to us. Find out more via the Neil Young website, see link below.
The Tallest Man On Earth
Singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson will be back again this Friday with another live stream, following his recent celebration of ten years of The Wild Hunt. Expect guitar and chat.
After the success of Carl Cox’s first Awesome Soundwave festival on Friday 25th April, a second event has been scheduled for 9th May. Expect Carl Cox, Giorgia Angiuli, Satoshi Tomiie and more.
It may not be music but it is a special treat we think is worth sharing. The National Theatre has announced #NationalTheatreAtHome, which will see some of the best British theatre delivered at 7pm (BST) every Thursday on YouTube. It began with James Corden in One Man Two Guvnors on 2nd April.
In a similar vein, Sadler’s Wells is offering full-length dance performances and workshops online. The programme broadcasts every Friday at 7.30pm (BST) and you will be able to watch performances back for seven days via the company’s Facebook page.
Christine and the Queens
The brilliantly-talented Christine and the Queens have already started what promises to be a series of live streams, complete with special guests. The good thing about the Instagram Live concerts is you can watch them back on Instagram at your leisure.
On the subject of staggeringly talented artists performing live on Instagram, Marc Rebillet is an old hand. You really should be following his impromptu live jams on Instagram already but his promise to up his game during the coronavirus crisis is all the more reason to check him out. More of a Twitch fan? He’s signed up there too to deliver his Quarantine Streams…
Garth Brooks is one of the best-selling artists of all time, so a free live concert is not to be sniffed at. Brooks took to his Facebook channel to perform and engage with fans in what he called People Loving People. 248,000 views says he wasn’t wrong. You can watch the stream back and look out for the next one via his Facebook page.
How about world class opera and ballet for free, from the comfort of your favourite chair? Vienna State Opera is now opening its livestream archives. Wiener Staatsoper will broadcast Live at Home recordings of previous opera and ballet performances daily via its streaming platform. Streams start at 5pm or 7pm (CET), which is line with the opera house’s usual performances, and they will remain available for 24 hours.
Time for something a little more relaxing? Welsh mezzo-soprano singer Katherine Jenkins is bringing her crossover classical brand to your home with live Facebook performances every Saturday night from 6pm (BST).
Want more choice? Check out Quaranstream, which promises to collate every livestream it can – and you can submit your own entries, too.