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The show must go on: livestreams, online gigs and innovations from the music world

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(Image credit: Westend61 / Getty Images)

2020 has been a shitshow. And as gigs get cancelled and revenue opportunities for bands are stifled, musicians are going to find more and more inventive ways of sharing their music and generating an income. 

There are ways in which you can help

But we know something else. We know that the musicians we've loved for years and the new bands we're just getting to know will step up. Unable to perform live, they're going to get creative in ways we've never seen. Labels are going to do things they've never done before. Platforms will find new ways helping. 

People are going to innovate. And under the most trying of circumstances, stars will be born.

We don't know what to expect, but it's going to be interesting. We're going to share those stories, and bring you a little closer to a music business doing things differently. 

April 7

Amon Amarth’s Johan Hegg has called on fans to attend online yoga classes with him and his wife Maria. They’ve been running the sessions this month to keep people fit during the lockdown, with the next scheduled class set for 6.30pm (5.30pm) today. Other classes are scheduled for later in the week. Hegg says: “Do something for your own wellbeing today! Join my wife, Maria, and me for yoga online. As usual she’ll be the teacher, and I’ll be the guy that shows you that if I can do it, anybody can!”

The UK’s Association Of Independent Music (AIM) have launched a fund to help support contractors and freelancers in the indie music scene, who have lost their sources of income due to the pandemic. AIM and its members have donated £500,000 and are calling on all sectors of the music industry and beyond to dig deep. AIM’s target is to distribute £1000 to each of 1000 workers within the space of two months. AIM CEO Paul Pacifico says: “The independent sector’s strength lies in its sense of solidarity and community. We have already seen a hugely encouraging show of support for those who are struggling, but there is still more to do. This is a call to arms. Together, we can get through this.” 

April 6

After a great response to last week’s online Rock The Lockdown event, part two has been announced – and it’ll take place on Tuesday, April 7, at 8pm GMT on Facebook and Instagram. Confirmed artists are Massive's Brad Marr, Hoss Thompson from Thirteen Stars, John Hartwell from These Wicked Rivers and George Twydell from Crooked Shapes. Organisers say: “Once again we will be running a donations tip jar with all proceeds going to the artists involved. A huge thank you to all who contributed last week – more than £350 was raised!

Kvelertak have today announced plans for a live stream on April 10 titled Live From Your Living Room. It’ll feature a 60-minute set from the band and will be broadcast from the Artilleriverkstedet venue in Norway and through Vierlive at 9pm CET (8pm GMT). Fans will also be able to live chat throughout the performance and order 2020 merch bundles. The band say: "Like so many of you right now, we don’t know when we can get back to work and out on the road again. But only boring people get bored. So while we’re waiting for the apocalypse to either wipe us all out or just pass us by this time, we are inviting ourselves into your homes. We’ll do some kind of Q&A as well."

Apr 3

L7’s Donita Sparks has announced she’s to launch an online variety show titled The Hi-Low Show. The first episode will be broadcast on the We Are Hear YouTube channel at 3pm PST (11pm GMT) tonight, with the vocalist and guitarist performing tracks, with guest artists also joining in. During the show, fans will be able to donate money which will go directly to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Former Marillion frontman Fish will be hosting a live Q+A stream on his Facebook page at 6pm GMT.

Icelandic retro rockers The Vintage Caravan will stream a live concert from their Facebook page today at 8pm GMT.

April 2

Former Little Angel and current Wayward Son Toby Jepson will be taking to Facebook this evening to run through some songs from the debut Little Angels album. The event kicks off at 8.15pm GMT.  

57 German bands have joined forces to compile a Rock Against Corona Spotify playlist. All proceeds from the streaming will be donated to coronavirus-related charities. "You can expect a mega-varied mix of punk, alternative rock, metalcore, progressive rock, and and and. Let yourself be surprised," say the organisers, Ungetsheim band Pottinger.

March 31

Earlier this month, Code Orange live-streamed their launch show for their new album Underneath. The twist was the performance was to an empty venue. But it was a success for the band and fans were able to purchase merch during the stream. Now, they’ve announced a new livestream series titled You And You Alone, with the first episode going live tonight on their Twitch channel at 8pm ET. Code Orange say: “Number 1 will be an improvised performance/visual experience from Eric ‘Shade’ Balderose. You will be able to purchase an very limited event t-shirt and digital download of the performance if you choose to support. This is the first of many creative efforts coming down the pipeline from us during this hell period. We will never settle. The rest of us will be in the chat during the event as well if you have questions.”

March 30

Cosmic punks WACO have announced they'll be releasing new single Good Days on April 27. All proceeds from the track will go towards NHS Charities Together to support the British National Health Service through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. They're asking for home-filmed submissions of fans performing along to the song at home for the music video. You can submit your entry via their official email address.

It's Metallica Monday - not a live gig in the true sense but every Monday sees a different gig from the past added to Metallica's YouTube channel

SKAM's Rocking Chair Online Tour continues this evening, with the band performing their second album Peacemaker in full. "We haven't played some of these songs in a very long time," say SKAM. "Should be interesting!" Stream live on the band's Facebook page at 8pm GMT.

Mongolian stars The Hu will be taking to Instagram Live this evening alongside Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach to do, well, who knows what? Tune in at 9pm EST/6pm PST (that's 1am in the morning, UK fans) to find out.

Dream Theater keyboard wizz Jordan Rudess hosts another daily Piano Meditation at his official Facebook page at 9pm GMT.

The nice folk at Rock People Management have announced their inaugural Rock The Lockdown show for tomorrow night (March 31). The event will comprise four back-to-back performances featuring Dig Lazarus’s Ash Tustain, Nikki Smash from The Rocket Dolls, an acoustic performance from Massive Wagons’ Stephen Holl, and Anglo-Australian bluesman Reece Mastin. Visit RPM's Facebook page at 8pm GMT tomorrow to join the action. A Paypal "tip jar" will be in operation.

March 27

Elvis Costello is hosting Artists4NHS tonight at 7:30pm GMT. The show will include a message and performance recorded by Elvis Costello from his "underground lair". All proceeds go towards official NHS charities. Artists4NHS is a movement inspired by the NHS workers battling the Covid19 outbreak in the UK.

Lamb Of God had to shelve their European tour with Kreator which was due to get under way this weekend, but they'll keep fans entertained by broadcasting their Resurrection Festival set from 2019 on tonight at 7pm GMT  (3pm EST, 12noon PDT). Guitarist Mark Morton will also been live in the chat during the performance where he’ll watch along and answer questions from fans.

Jamie Lenman will be doing a TRL (total request live) show on 31 March at 7pm GMT from his home, via his Facebook page. He will play "all requests: his songs, Reuben songs, covers, shout outs – whatever."

The Struts have launched their own #QuarantineRadio, which kicks off 7:30PM PST on Saturdays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, via Instagram Live and the iTunes Store.

Parkway Drive are hosting a YouTube premiere of their new documentary Viva The Underdogs on April 4. The doc will go live at 2pm PT/5pm ET/10pm BST/11pm CEST. Winston McCall will also be answering fan questions on 27 March via the band’s Instagram page at 10pm CET / 9pm GMT.

Norwegian punks LÜT have revealed a "Coronavirus challenge" which will be livestreamed tomorrow, Saturday 28th March at 9am GMT via their Facebook page and will see them shovel seven tonnes of snow currently covering their trailer – which has been enveloped by the icy nemesis as a result of them not being able to take it out on tour as planned. Anyway, if you fancy watching five men getting hot and sweaty shovelling some snow, you can tune in via their Facebook page. We can think of worse ways to spend a Saturday, to be fair. The band will release a new music video once the shovelling is complete.

March 26

Swiss Prog Award winners Cellar Darling have today announced the Lockdown campaign. It'll begin on April 5 with a live Q&A session and in the days and weeks to come, will also see the band provide exclusive content from their own homes and rehearsal space. The campaign will culminate in a live-streamed performance from Lucerne's Soundfarm Studio on May 3 at 7pm GMT. Lockdown will be a pay-what-you-want initiative, with fans will be able to help the band financially throughout the campaign. Cellar Darling say: "Let’s make the best of a bad situation by doing something positive together: rocking out, while staying at home!"

March 25

Devon Allman of the Allman Betts Band is going “on tour” from his house. Allman plans to change themes from show to show to keep it fresh and says: “One night will be cover songs, one night originals, one night Q&A live, one night special guests, one night request hour, etc.” The shows confirmed so far will take place at 7pm CT tonight (Midnight GMT), 7pm CT on Friday and Sunday at 4pm CT (10pm GMT) on Allman’s Facebook page. Gibson Guitars and Earthworks Audio will supply the gear which will also be given away over the course of the "tour". A virtual tip jar will allow fans to donate to Allman and his crew, while the performances will be uploaded to other social media platforms the following day.

Alice In Chains frontman William DuVall was forced to postpone his UK and European tour earlier this month, but to lessen the blow, he'll perform a live set via his Facebook page tonight at 8pm GMT (4pm ET). DuVall will perform tracks from his debut solo album One Alone.

March 24

The White Buffalo will be performing an exclusive and interactive live stream on on Sunday, April 5 at 12pm PST. He'll be performing songs from upcoming album On The Widow's Walk for the first time, alongside some of his older material.

Brett from Glorious Sons is writing a series of songs called Isolation Songs and putting them out on the band's YouTube channel. He's broadcasting a new song most days. "At home waiting this thing out," he says, "trying to keep my mind busy."

Snow Burial will be live streaming an acoustic performance via the Prosthetic Records YouTube channel. The stream will take place on 26 March at 8 EDT/ 7 CDT/ 5 PDT. The band will be accepting donations throughout the performance, and will be sending all money raised to The Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Shinedown have released a new single from their unreleased archive titled Atlas Falls. Apparently never heard before, a download of the single is now available with the purchase of a limited edition T-shirt. All proceeds from the single and shirt go to humanitarian aid organisation Direct Relief, who are providing personal protective equipment and essential medical items to health workers responding to coronavirus. 

Live Lesson Masters – a new online learning platform focusing on music, yoga and cooking – has been launched to give struggling members from the global music community a chance to keep a revenue stream going during coronavirus. They call it "a network of your favourite musicians and instructors who are ready to impart their lifetime of knowledge and experience upon you. Real time, face to face, all online." Classes are bookable now.

March 23

Randy Bachman and his son Tal are to broadcast a livestream this evening from their home on Vancouver Island, Canada. A statement says, "This premiere special musical union is in response to the realities of social distancing, and will be a testament to the powers of music as a source of healing and community for everyone." The livestream will be broadcast at on YouTube at 6pm PST.  

March 20

Jack White's Third Man Records have announced Third Man Public Access, a series of daily live-streamed virtual gigs to take place from the label’s well-known Blue Room in Nashville, broadcast via YouTube. They will take place daily at 1pm EST.

Sub Pop trio Moaning will be streaming a virtual listening party of their new album, Uneasy Laughter, via YouTube on Friday, March 20th at 6pm GMT/ 11am PST / 2pm EST.

Following the cancellation of their show with Body Count last Friday, Cro-Mags performed their full planned set as 'The Quarantine Show' online instead. The full, multi-camera performance is now available to watch on YouTube

Rising UK rocker Jack J Hutchinson is launching a collection of live recordings and special performances that will provide his fans with music over the coming months. It all starts with a live listening party tonight at 9pm UK time on Jack's Facebook page.

The Lockdown Music Festival this weekend showcases 16 of the hottest blues rock acts from all around the world – without anyone, bands or audience, having to leave the house. And it's all free. Read more.

Online piano lesson providers Scoove are currently offering free courses for beginners. Read more.

Canadian rockers The Wild - who we described as "absolutely reeking of rot-gut moonshine and hi-octane gasoline" have announced a quarantine concert. It'll take place Saturday March 21 at 8pm GMT. You can tune in on their Facebook page. “In a time where our genre has never seemed more lost, we stay the course,” says lead vocalist and guitarist, Dylan Villain, “some of us still believe in rock and roll music and this album is for those of us that do.”

Bandsintown has announced two new features aimed at helping music fans and artists cope with event cancellations. Watch Live is a service that allows the artists listed on their platform to promote their livestreams, while next week will see a Bandsintown Live Music Marathon raise money for the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund

Tuk Smith, former leader of Biters and now frontman for Atlanta's Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts, is taking requests for songs he'll perform live from his home. Read more.

From 7am UK time today and 7am tomorrow (midnight-midnight PCT), Bandcamp are waiving their usual cut and directing 100% of sales revenue to their artists. Read more.

March 19

Napalm Records have launched a website to not only keep fans informed about tour postponements and cancellations, but to also help artists. The website – which will be updated on a regular basis – will also provide details on artists’ crowdfunding drives, live streams and more. Read more.