Festival and Concert Alternatives at Home

Photo by Danny Howe

Your favorite festivals and concerts might be getting canceled, but you can still enjoy jamming out from your couch.

With COVID-19 keeping us indoors, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, especially with summer a couple of weeks away. Music festivals and art festivals alike are either postponing or canceling their summer events in hopes of keeping their fans and employees safe in these uncertain times. 

Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI postponed its 2020 festival to take place later this year with three weekends in September. And one of the biggest EDM festivals in the world, Tomorrowland, canceled their festival entirely. 

However, while all of us fans are stuck at home, so are our favorite musicians and artists. A number of musicians and artists are taking things into their own hands, trying to bring back some normalcy in our lives as we enter the summer months. Rapper Swae Lee hosted a free concert on Instagram Live, bringing a fan “onstage” and crowd surfing, giving us a little bit of reprieve from the changing world. Global Citizen hosted a video series on Instagram Live named “Together at Home,” which featured artists such as Tayor Swift and Lady Gaga. The artists performed songs in their homes, hoping to provide some comfort and support for individuals who are having a difficult time during the COVID-19 crisis. 

So, just because you are sitting in quarantine, doesn’t mean you can’t have a little bit of fun. Here are some festival alternatives you can participate in from your couch:  

Literature

Theatre Mu is hosting casual readings of plays written by Asian Americans for their “Mu Mondays.” Mu Mondays were originally for the Asian American artist community to come together to collaborate and learn from each other. However, they are now opening up this time for others to come together to safely socialize and satisfy their love for the arts. 

The Loft Literary Center’s Wordplay Festival held their Minnesotan festival virtually this year from late April through early May, but don’t worry, you can view the archived content on their website. As a literary festival, their purpose is to celebrate and connect readers, authors, and books together. Through a series of podcasts, virtual storytelling, and live streaming, they celebrate the importance of books and connection during a crisis. 

Music

Have you wanted to go to the Metropolitan Opera House? Well now is your chance. Each day, the Met will host an encore presentation from their Live in HD series, highlighting 14 years of full performances and historic singers. Each performance will be available for 23 hours from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day. Grab a glass of wine and your opera-glass and enjoy the music. 

Billboard created a continuous updating list of all the virtual and live stream concerts taking places from artists across the globe trying to connect to their fans in all the ways they know-how. On May 15, Miley Cyrus scheduled time to perform her song, “The Climb” on Facebook Live at 2:00 p.m. EST, to show support for the graduating seniors who had their commencements canceled due to the pandemic. A  commencement speech by Oprah Winfrey will follow. Check Billboard to get updated concerts as they are announced. 

Film

Film lovers rejoice as YouTube announces that it will be hosting a film festival series virtually, for free! The We Are One: A Global Film Festival is a 10-day film festival that has 20 international film festivals such as the Cannes, Sundance, and New York Film Festival, joining forces to bring the screen right to you. While the films that are slated have yet to be announced, fans can anticipate documentaries, shorts, music, and comedies to be featured. Expect to stream in from May 29 to June 7 to enjoy the films. 

In April of 2019, VULTURE released an article documenting “The 50 Best Music Documentaries of All Time.” Music legends such as Prince, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, and The Rolling Stones are featured on the list. By including classic and new age music, this list allows us to see music through the decades, allowing fans to immerse themselves into the lives of their favorite artists. Watch these documentaries when you need to laugh, cry, or dance—you can find one for every mood. I personally recommend Beyoncé’s “Homecoming”. 

Even though things in the next few months likely will change drastically, it’s comforting knowing that  communities, whether local or global, are coming together to bring some normalcy back into our lives. While summer plans might have changed, quarantine has made it possible to enjoy our favorite pastimes in the comfort of our home with our friends just a video call away. 

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