May 19, 2020

Can Virtual Events Replace Live Events?

Written by Mackenzie Godard

Two months ago, it would’ve been tough to imagine our current reality: shut into our homes, restaurants and bars on lockdown, and all concerts and sporting events cancelled for the foreseeable future. Now, it’s hard to imagine jamming out in the crowd to your favourite band or cheering on your home team in a jam-packed stadium.

Little by little, strict social distancing rules and stay-at-home orders are being lifted, but government officials warn that we won’t see any large gatherings such as concerts or sporting events until 2021…at the earliest. It’s difficult news for any music or sports fan to swallow. But, you can still catch your favourite bands and sports teams from a safe social distance via loads of livestream options and with emergent platforms like Launchtrip+ rolling them all out into a curated virtual live event guide for your perusal. Now you can check out up to date coverage of all new and upcoming events and even save it. 

Until travel restrictions are lifted and live events are back on, you can get your live music or sports fix without putting yourself or others at risk. Tuning in online is a big adjustment from in-person events but a virtual live event source like Launchtrip+ can bring you as close to the real deal as you can get. Here’s how virtual events have transformed the way we come together during COVID-19 and beyond.

Virtual events: the next best thing

Every industry has been affected by the current pandemic but few have been hit as hard as music and sports. After a player tested positive for the virus, the NBA shut down in early March, and all other pro sports leagues quickly followed suit. Since social distancing rules and restrictions on group sizes came into effect, musicians, venues, and organizers have been forced to pivot and find creative ways to connect with their audiences. Enter virtual events.

Instead of cancelling events, many artists are taking their shows online and offering virtual concerts. Live-streamed from their very own living rooms, these digital concerts have been a medium for musicians to share their art and for fans to support their favourite artists during quarantine. While it’s certainly a different vibe (no screaming crowds or high-priced beers), virtual concerts have fast become an emerging force in the world of live events.

Online shows have the power to bring fans together on an unprecedented scale. People all over the world now have access to concerts they otherwise would have to travel to see. One World: Together at Home proved how impactful virtual events can be, with an estimated 20.7 million people tuning in. With virtual shows, it doesn’t matter where you live — you can be a part of the global music community from the comfort of home.

Even sporting events could return to the screen sooner than expected. The NHL is in talks to resume the 2019-2020 season with live-streamed fanless games. So even if you can’t go to a game yet, you can throw on your jersey and watch live hockey at home, bringing you one step closer to a new normal.

Virtual events in a post-coronavirus world

The pandemic has undoubtedly been a global tragedy, but it’s also sparked creative solutions for industries across the board. As the world shifts towards a more digital experience as a whole, music and sports have had no choice but to adapt too. While virtual events can’t truly recreate the live experience, they’ve opened up new opportunities for artists to connect with audiences far beyond their usual reach.

What started as a way to make up lost revenue in music and sports, and to connect with fans, has become a whole new way to consume entertainment. Before the pandemic, you could never watch Billie Eilish or Stevie Wonder perform from their living rooms or catch an at-home version of Saturday Night Live. Virtual shows are a powerful complement to the music and sports scenes we once knew and will likely live on well after world order restores.

We’ve got a long way to go before we can enjoy music and sports in the way we did before, but as we all continue to stay home, virtual events can help us feel a little less alone. So will virtual events replace live events? Probably not. But in a post-coronavirus world, there’s room for both. If there’s one comforting fact about this global crisis, it’s that we’re all in this together. The more we all do our part to slow the spread of the virus, the sooner we’ll be back in the crowds with our lighters up or waving our white towels. Until then, check out the latest update on Launchtrip+ live-streaming events guide for your next live-streaming experience.