John Legend and Coldplay’s Chris Martin, French lyricist Christine and the Queens are among musicians touring online to boost morale, and replace planned performances as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on the entertainment industry.
New York’s Metropolitan Opera has begun free livestreaming of productions here. So many people have been doing so that the site had to delay access.
The virtual performances come as the entertainment industry suffers a huge hit from the escalating pandemic. Theaters and entertainment venues across the world have been forced to close amid new restrictions, while artists have had to pull their tours.
The financial implications of the closures are thought to be huge, with estimates suggesting the live music industry could lose $5 billion during the outbreak, according to the BBC. That will have major repercussions, not only for artists, but also the countless crew who work with them.
Martin played an impromptu set on Instagram Live from his home Tuesday, after his planned performance with fellow British bandmates was pulled as part of ever-increasing social restrictions aimed at curbing the outbreak.
“We’re stuck in different countries, so we can’t play together. So I thought what would be nice would be to check in with some of you out there and check in with how you’re doing,” he said, before playing a string of Coldplay hits and a rendition of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars.”
The musician posted the video alongside the hashtag #TogetherAtHome with the hope that “maybe tomorrow, someone else will take it over.”
Legend took the second slot using the trending tag — however, several other celebs also had the same idea.
Also Tuesday, country singer Keith Urban went live on Instagram with an “audience of one” — his wife Nicole Kidman — watching in the background.
Elsewhere, Christine and the Queens is performing nightly live shows from a recording studio in Paris in what she described as her effort to fight isolation-induced boredom.
“Why not meet everyday at 6 p.m. EST on my Instagram? I’ll find a way to deal with the ennui,” she wrote in an Instagram post.
English singer L Devine, who was due to go on tour in Europe this month, said she will honor every date via a tour across various social media platforms. Meanwhile in LA, British punk-pop star Yungblud put on an hourlong show, encouraging followers to mosh at home.
“Get on your bed, your kitchen table, your couch — and jump!” he said, adding that he wanted to give people a “bit of positivity, laughter and emotion.”
Theaters, too, have joined in, with the cast of West End’s “The Showstoppers” taking to Facebook Live for Tuesday night’s performance.
—CNBC’s Marty Steinberg contributed to this report.
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