Musicians Explore the New World of Virtual Concerts


Courtesy of PlayStation

On April 25, Travis Scott held a virtual concert in the popular video game “Fortnite,” which over 12 million people attended from all over the world, according to Rolling Stone.

Sidra Asif, Staff Writer

Whether they are at school or not, a large part of a high school student’s experience involves the performing arts. So in an age of social distancing and online alternatives, what are musicians and music lovers to do?

“We’ve been doing virtual choirs, where everybody at home is recording themselves individually…I create tracks so that they have something to sing along to, so they put their headphones in and they can listen to everyone and stay in the right notes with everyone else,” performing arts teacher Adrian Rangel-Sanchez said. “We record it ourselves individually on our cellphones and we layer it together so it sounds like everybody is singing together at the same time. It’s not quite the same, but it’s pretty good. Most people, like the average listener, won’t tell the difference in terms of sound.”

Along with what teachers are discussing on alternative plans for concerts, students have also been adjusting to the change of virtual performing arts. 

“Choir and performing before the pandemic was always a really enjoyable part of my high school experience so far, and it has helped me to make a lot of my friends that I wouldn’t have known if it wasn’t for choir,” senior Julianne Nguyen said. “After [COVID-19] hit, choir became so different, as now we weren’t able to meet together and perform, however we were all able to adapt by recording our own voice…and mixing them together so we can still create music even though we’re apart from one another.”

Apart from school performances, virtual concerts hosted top 40 musicians and underground artists alike. Sophomore Safa Ahmed had the unique experience of seeing South Korean boy band NCT 127 perform live from her phone. 

“[A virtual concert] is definitely not the same experience as actually seeing the singer live, but I still enjoyed it because it’s the closest thing I can get to a real concert right now because of quarantine,” Ahmed said. 

Entertainment providers from all over the world have recognized the need for a safe alternative to concerts and created multiple ways in which music can be heard with the presence of others, including virtual reality, which has been used by artists Imagine Dragons and Drake.

“VR has the ability to deepen the fans’ relationship with the artist while providing access to fans around the world to experience the energy of live when they can’t physically be there,” Live Nation executive vice president Kevin Chernett said in an interview with Wired.

The pandemic has caused problems in everybody’s day-to-day lives, decreasing entertainment and social interaction. Despite this, there is and always will be an unmistakably prominent demand for a space in which art can be shared. This joined effort from the public is what has made the music industry adapt, and ultimately proves the arts to be immortal and defiant.