Editorial: Our Stance On Live Music During The Current Pandemic

If there’s one thing we really love here at Essentially Pop, it’s going out to see live performances, to take photos (especially if we’re in the press pit) and relive the experience, by writing it down and sharing it with our readers.

So I’m in a bind when I say that, at the moment, I don’t really feel comfortable attending gigs, or indeed, actively promoting them.

Even though by attending, people are not necessarily jeopardising their own health, but they could well carry it to those more vulnerable than themselves. And as much as “herd immunity” is the current policy here in the UK, I don’t want (or for EP or for any of my writers) to be put in a position where I feel responsible for encouraging people to go out where they might be exposed to COVID-19. So far as I’m concerned, it’s all about flattening the curve.

I realise that gigs are pretty much the only way musical artists make any money these days, and it’s horribly hard for me to say all this, given our remit here is to support the independent artist first. But for the foreseeable future, until the peak of this crisis has passed (I’m currently hopeful that it’ll be all done by May), I won’t advocate any of EPs writers going to live performances. Of course, they can make their own decisions about that, but this is how I stand. And, additionally, we won’t actively be making any tour announcements, or gig dates – UNLESS they’re for the summer and beyond – like I said, I’m hoping the crisis will be over by May). If you’re wanting us to make an announcement about postponing dates, that’s fine. We’ll help you out there.

So – what are the alternatives? If you are doing a livestream, let us know! Maybe broadcast something behind a paywall, and sell “tickets” or ask for donations via PayPal. If you’re on Patreon or the like, put on a show for subscribers. Livestream on your Instagram story, give fans exclusives, with perhaps a link to a new release. During this time build up your fan following, get people involved. Let us know, and we can help out, maybe by reviewing the “show”, or otherwise promoting what you’re doing. We’re all in the same boat and we can all work together during this.

These are just a couple of ideas, but I’m sure you can come up with plenty more.

Like always, send your music to us, but by email preferably, as my pile of CDs to review is getting precariously high! You could even write a guest post for us if you like!

Even though this just seems like one thing after another for independent music, we can get through it. Essentially Pop will be there for you.

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email lisa@essentiallypop.com