Everyone is speculating about the future of live performances. What it’ll be like in the post-crisis musical landscape. And we can’t help but wonder who and what will remain standing.
From concert presenters, to artist managers, and venues. From arts funders to orchestras, big bands, opera companies, and string quartets. Who and what will not only survive, but thrive on the other side of all this?
I don’t have a crystal ball. Nobody does.
But I DO have assertions.
What the crisis is teaching us.
With all of our usual distractions stripped away, the “Corona-sphere” has revealed ourselves to us in new and unsettling ways.
For me, it’s been a time to learn what it really means to be human. And to discover what really matters.
I’ve learned—the painful way—just how important gathering with others is. From my yoga and qigong, to concerts, church, and my improv classes, I’m feeling the loss. That gathering in groups is a sacred trust.
As humans, we want—and need—to be seen and heard. We all crave real connection and active engagement. We want to participate fully, not sit passively and applaud politely.
That’s been made clear and I don’t think that’ll go away when we’re actually able to gather again physically.
So in thinking what this will mean for performances in the future, let’s do a little design thinking.
Challenge: Design a digital performance experience that would keep your extended family engaged.
We’ve all got Zoom meeting fatigue, so people are looking for inspiring ways to be with, and learn from each other online.
From Yoga studios, cooking classes, and family game nights, to churches and Reiki workshops, we’re seeing a cascade of creative online engagement designed to stave off isolation and build community.
I’ve recently participated in virtual conferences and courses built of small group discussions focused on insights, feedback, and generous participation. There’s also been an outpouring of inventive co-created experiences, and online performances incorporating discussions and readings.
Bottom line: what we’re all craving is connection.
And that’s what music is actually FOR, so as musicians we need to be direct our creativity to re-designing our work.
From online performances, to workshops and lessons, what are you doing different now?
I watched the recent Creative Mornings NYC event with Priya Parker, “Together Apart” (The author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters, Priya is a facilitator who creates meaningful gatherings).
She asks us to consider, as we design the future:
What’s your purpose in convening performances?
What’s the impact you seek to make?
And, instead of simply trying to recreate an in-person concert experience online, how might you design something that can ONLY be done online?
In other words, what can you do in virtual spaces that’s impossible in a shared physical space?
The Future of Live Performances is up to us.
Please write back with your ideas. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
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Wishing you and your loved ones all the best,
Dream Big, Plan Smart, Live Well