Online House Concerts

Even If I can’t do a concert in your living room, I can do one on your Facebook Page, and it’s actually pretty cool

Since the COVID-19 crisis hit, one thing that’s been happening is musicians and artists of all kinds have been engaged in a lot more experimentation with doing concerts, workshops and other things on the internet. I have been doing the same, and it’s led to some interesting discoveries, which have led me to making this proposal. I’ll explain.

The internet, obviously, is a global phenomenon, and much of what interests us about it is both free (more or less) and publicly available, such as YouTube, Spotify, Facebook, and so on. Since the pandemic has resulted in all of my world tour plans being canceled, I have been doing a free, weekly, multi-platform livestreamed broadcast from my living room every Monday (at 10 am Pacific). Lots of other musicians are doing the same sort of thing.

After the near-global quarantine measures took effect, a Canadian labor union and a Belgian music venue interested in supporting unemployed musicians, and supporting their own communities in these very trying times, hired me to do concerts, both broadcast directly from their Facebook Pages. The gigs both went way better than I had expected. What was so interesting to see was that because I was broadcasting directly to their particular audiences, even though the concerts were both freely available to anyone in the world who wanted to tune in, most of the viewers on each organization’s Facebook pages were part of these respective communities — Canadian union members, or Belgian anarchists, depending on which of the two gigs we’re talking about.

So here’s how I will proceed with this concept, for anyone interested: I have now expanded the Concert Circle for members of my Community-Supported Art program (or Concert Tier Patrons on Patreon — same thing). Normally, one of the perks of Concert Circle membership is an annual house concert, when I’m touring in your area. That perk was always a problem for people in places where I don’t get to much, even Before COVID (BC). But now, any Concert Circle member can opt to have their annual house concert hosted by me on their Facebook Page.  (You can also just pay me a fee instead of joining my CSA, just talk to me.)

In case you’re unfamiliar with the livestream phenomenon, what happens when you broadcast live from your Facebook Page is any of your Friends or Followers on Facebook suddenly see a window pop up with whatever it is you’re broadcasting from your Page. It works more or less the same way with YouTube, Twitter, Twitch, Linked In, VK and other platforms. So it can be a very nice way to stay in touch with your virtual community.

If you give me administrative access to any of these social media accounts, I can broadcast on them (simultaneously even, if desired). There are various ways to make a broadcast more or less public, depending on what platform(s) you use. I can do a concert, a webinar, or host an open mic — whatever you have in mind.