Coronavirus Nation News

Students adjust to virtual concerts, programming

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

With many live performances and tours canceled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many institutions, including the University, have turned to virtual concerts as a form of virtual programming.

When the University announced a virtual Rico Nasty concert during Weeks of Welcome, some students were intrigued by the new form of performance. Health promotion sophomore Hannah Ali went into the event without expectations on how it would pan out.

“I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I found out UH was having a virtual concert,” Ali said. “I assumed it would be similar to a regular in-person concert, which to an extent, it was.”

After the performance, what surprised Ali the most was the length of the concert. Being quicker than the traditional in-person concert, Ali kept in mind how working from home could impact the concert’s length.

“I wasn’t expecting it to be a lot shorter (than an in-person concert), but it was,” Ali said. “However, it’s like understandable when you take into account the turnout, her doing everything from home and the technicalities. I did wish she performed some songs of her newer album but overall it was a good experience.” 

As social distancing and COVID-19 continue to be concerns, Ali believes that virtual concerts are a good alternative to regular performances. The live virtual concert has a different energy compared to prerecorded videos, however, without the same editing benefits, she said.

“I think virtual concerts are a good form of programming,” Ali said. “It definitely gives a different feel and vibe than a prerecorded video. If I wanted to watch a prerecorded video, I’d just go on YouTube.”

“But I do think that prerecorded videos do have their perks, especially when it comes to editing and the quality of the video, while virtual concerts rely on a lot of other factors,” she continued.

In terms of accessibility, some virtual concerts are comparably more affordable than some in-person alternatives, making them more available to the general public.

“I think the coronavirus pandemic has made concerts a lot more accessible to people at home while also making the price of tickets significantly cheaper,” Ali said. “Plus, many musicians are collaborating with companies to hold free concerts available to the public.” 

Ali also believes hosting virtual concerts pushes artists beyond traditional barriers, allowing them to be more creative with their performances. 

“In terms of creativity, remote concerts have really forced artists to be more inventive with their performances since they have to make their stage presence a lot more known behind a screen,” Ali said.

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