Advice for Musicians during the Pandemic : Part 6, Livestreaming
Updated: Jun 3, 2021
While working on promotional material and creating new content might be a good way for musicians to use their time (see part 3 and part 5), live interaction with an audience might be one of the aspects of your career that you are missing the most during this self-isolation period. A simple way to connect with audiences is to organize a livestream event.
Livestreaming for soloists and ensembles living in the same household
If you are a soloist or you are living with the other members of your ensemble, the possibilities are endless. Multiple free platforms make it very easy to connect with your audience and present an informal digital live concert from your home including Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Youtube Live, Google hangout, Twitch (often used by video game streamers but also performers), and Zoom.
For detailed instructions on how to set up your livestream event, click here.
Keep in mind that a livestream event is not exactly a performance concert. The setting is usually more informal and intimate. We encourage you to be friendly, to share stories, and to interact with the comments on the chat section. Again, do not put the emphasis on production value. Regular audio and video quality and some clutter are acceptable. In this period, people are generally looking for a more authentic and close relationship with others - embrace that.
The important thing is to promote your event so as to inform your audience: organize a Facebook event, publicize it on social media, send email invitations, etc.
Note, however, that if your internet connection has a upload capacity of less than 5 MB per seconds, there might be some technical issues with your livestream. To test your internet speed, click here.
For ensembles who don’t live under the same household, livestreaming might be difficult, if not impossible. All the video conferencing platforms mentioned above always have a slight delay, which makes audio synchronisation impossible.
However, JamKazam is a platform that offers this service that seems promising.
Similar to live streaming, ensembles have two other options: having a watch party or creating a “false” livestream.
Instead of a performance, you can invite your audience to a watch party, meaning that you organize a livestream event in which you share footage of recorded performances and add a discussion aspect. You could also add material that inspires you that is not yours in order to discuss your artistic process and show you artistic personality. Each member could be in charge of one dedicated session or you could all be together.
You can record all the parts separately, compile them, and share the video on social media. It will be clear to most people that it is not a live event, but it is in itself an impressive creation. You can even combine this idea with the above watch party, and discuss the process of creation with your audience. Be aware, these compilations look simple but there is a lot of technical production behind the scenes. You may need to reach out to your technically-inclined colleagues!
Monetizing the event
It is possible to sell tickets on plateforme like Eventbrite or TicketLeap and send a private link. However, with the quantity of free options available now, it might be hard to sell them. Stageit is another platform that offers the service of selling tickets and livestreaming.
Another way to make livestream events profitable is to encourage donation. Make sure to indicate how the audience can donate by adding links to your PayPal.me or Venmo link in the video description. We encourage you to be honest about how the pandemic has affected your finances, and welcome people to give whatever they can, if anything. We are all in this together, and more than ever, the importance of shared art is paramount.
The multitude of possibilities available of this new temporary reality are often overwhelming, but hopefully, these few tips will help get you started!
Sources and additional resources
Special thanks to the CQM, Benoît Guérin, and François Goupil