🦠 BTS gross $18m+ with biggest-ever paid live stream; Can New York’s arts scene evolve and survive?; Twitch take-down notices explained; Summer of raves in the UK

Daily update for the music business on the coronavirus (June 16)

BTS gross $18m+ with biggest-ever paid live stream (IQ Mag)

The interactive show – co-produced by the band’s agency/management company, Big Hit Entertainment, and US livestreaming firm Kiswe – saw band members performing in various spaces (two concert stages and five rooms), with fans able to switch between six viewing angles, from “video call-like close-ups to full shots that encapsulated the tight choreography”, according to Big Hit.

New York’s arts scene remains shut down indefinitely—can it evolve and survive? (Nat Geo)

“I think a lot of us are thinking these hybrid live film/theatre experiences are temporary, so if they do let us down, if they can’t replicate that live theatre experience, we comfort ourselves by thinking that someday ‘We’ll be back,’” Majok said. “But what if they’re not? What if we’re not able to assemble in the same way as before for a very long time, if ever? I think we adapt. We’ll always tell stories... in whatever form we’re able.”

Pickathon extends a concert a day past 60 days to benefit MusiCares (Grammy)

“We started the Concert A Day series because our cultural and artistic communities are suffering right now,” Pickathon founder and director&nbsp;Zale Schoenborn said in a statement.<strong>&nbsp;</strong>"Our goal was to help support the artists that were depending on Pickathon and other festivals in 2020, and that’s why we’re continuing this as long as we possibly can.”

Summer of illegal raves expected in England despite coronavirus crisis (The Guardian)

This is only the start of a summer of rave, warned Morsh, who is setting up a social enterprise called the Pill Report, where people can safely review drugs. “You know the summer of 89? I think this is a new revolution on the scale of that … All the clubs are shut, everyone is at home, people have been cooped up at home for three months. As soon as they catch wind of anything, on Snapchat, Instagram stories or whatever, they’re like, ‘Where’s that? WhatsApp me the pin’.”

Twitch users are getting takedown notices en masse for the first time: here's why (Billboard)

But for now, if Twitch wants to build out a music strategy, the only real solution is licensing. Until the company can secure strong licensing deals, for its users frustrated over takedown notices, this is only the beginning.

At work with Fabrice Sergent, who retooled Bandsintown for a world without tours (Rolling Stone)

Another way to characterize success: Physical events are coming back step by step, but livestreams now represent half of the additional creation of new events in our platform. It means artists are getting it. We are now in the second phase of this exploration because the first instinct was just to stay in touch. Livestreams are complementary to what fans used to have.

Covid-19 vs the live music industry (IQ Mag)

Artists continue to stream to their fans over the internet (now everyone has got a lot better doing it, many are very enjoyable), and festivals have staged online versions in an attempt to keep their audience engaged. Some ‘festivals’ have been live, ‘warts and all’ (which I love – it’s like the real thing, right?), and some simply a curated playlist of pre-recorded YouTube videos overlaid with a festival watermark. But all are simply trying to achieve the same thing: to hold on to the very community which gets them out of bed in the morning, and to keep people excited enough for next year’s event that they’ll hold on to their ticket and thus help see them survive through to it.

Industry association says outdoor events business 'on brink' due to pandemic (MusicWeek)

The National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) has warned the festival and events industry is "on the brink" after the 2020 summer season was wiped out due to the Covid-19 pandemic … Of those surveyed, 65% only have liquidity for six months or less and 41% only have enough for the next three months. While 65% of those surveyed have already applied for government grants, 80% have yet to receive anything.

Night time businesses cautiously welcome government review of social distancing rules, while Chancellor’s comments on support gaps criticised (CMU)

Its CEO, Michael Kills, said: “One of the key challenges around the re-opening of the night time economy and events sector is the current guide for physical distancing. We welcome the government’s announcement with regard to the review of the current measures, and await the outcome with much anticipation”.


I wanted to give a snapshot of some more local issues from around the globe as the world finds itself in various phases of the Covid-19 pandemic. While local, the issues resonate with venues and artists around the world.

  • In Hong Kong, independent venue The Aftermath has turned to fundraising as it doesn’t qualify for its government’s support schemes. A recurring theme around the globe for many cultural institutions who were able to stand on their own two feet in financial terms is that this quality leaves them stranded in terms of emergency funding.

  • In Australia we find a new initiative with 1000 coronavirus-safe gigs to kickstart recovery in the music industry. All gigs will be with local artists and venues can apply to take part. As more and more countries ease their restrictions we’re looking at a summer of enjoying the music made locally.

  • In South Africa not every artist has access to the necessary tools to ‘pivot’ to from live gigs to livestreaming. They ‘lack data, equipment, and sometimes even electricity.’ While others expect little direct income from livestreaming opportunites, ‘they’re slightly more hopeful about a longer revenue tail.’

  • In the USA, meanwhile, bars are reopening in New Orleans but without the live music that often defines those spaces. And in Boston, the Tanglewood summer concert series will move online and experiment with a combination of free and paid events and both video and audio content.


I composed this newsletter while listening to a new record by a new band: Coriky. You might know some of the band members from other bands, e.g. The Evens or Fugazi. It’s punk, but with a ton of melody.

It’s a Tuesday, which is a perfect day for sharing


MUSIC x CORONA goes out every weekday and is composed by Bas Grasmayer and Maarten Walraven.

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