Online concerts struggle to replace in-person experience


Photo by Hannah Kail '22

The in-person experience of a concert includes the excitement of hearing live voices and being surrounded by people with a similar interest in music. Online concerts, while useful, don’t have the same experience as you have to sit in front of a screen to enjoy. Many students have been able to participate and make time for the online concerts with their easy accessibility.

After purchasing a record player this year, I’ve realized how much I miss listening and seeing live music. COVID has affected many activities that high school students cherish during their teenage years. Concerts are just one of many activities that have been changed due to the nature of our world today. 

I’ve been dwelling on the loss of concerts, looking back on the exciting videos of strobe lit rooms with loud screams. Concerts have adjusted from sitting in a crowded stadium to sitting on your living room couch, staring at your TV. As someone who has experienced both settings, I can confidently say that there is no replacement for the shared experience of a live venue. 

The ecstasy of being surrounded by people who share the same interests as you while screaming to songs you love is a feeling that cannot be replaced.

The environment of a concert is like no other. The ecstasy of being surrounded by people who share the same interests as you while screaming to songs you love is a feeling that cannot be replaced. Hearing the note changes and making long lasting memories as confetti falls from the top of the venue are just some of the benefits of a live concert. Attending a live concert has made some of my favorite memories with my favorite people. Many people, including myself, look up to these music artists as idols, so being able to see them in person concludes on this somewhat magical experience. 

I know I’m not the only one missing concerts. All over social media platforms such as Tik Tok, I am seeing countless videos of fans making videos trying to replace the same serotonin you get from watching live, with mashups of songs and concert clips. Unfortunately, these videos do not reflect on the great memories made in the live concert experience.  If the world could come together and actually adhere to COVID guidelines, this issue would not be a problem any longer. 

Although live concerts are one of the many “once in a lifetime experiences” for teens, online concerts have provided an option during these times to tune into your favorite performers. Personally, I have been able to listen to some of my favorites in an online concert. 

While the experience was fun and provided some entertainment and access to my favorite musicians, it wasn’t the same. I didn’t feel the rush of adrenaline listening to my favorite songs or the thrill of never knowing who may show up, as I had with my in-person concerts. Most of the virtual concerts I attended almost felt dreary and made me miss the in-person experience even more.  Many students have opted to listen to these concerts, as they are an easy and inexpensive way to provide some source of entertainment. 

A lot of artists have found these concerts to be a way to give back to those in need such as crew members, political causes and frontline workers. For instance, last December, music artists Dave Matthews and Diplo came together to perform, with donations going towards the Georgia Senate run-off election. The concert rang in tons of donations, which went to a great cause. 

Similar to online concerts, some artists in the beginning of the pandemic chose to perform at drive-in concerts. While fun, they are in limited quantity. These are a better option for better weather times, but also a better alternative to an online concert, as you are able to have somewhat of a thrilling experience, while still being safe. This may be a better idea for when COVID numbers start to slow down, and the return to normalcy begins. 

As much as these concerts have been proven successful, COVID concerns are still high making the return for concerts longer and longer. Many people are still coming together to watch and perform these concerts, which can cause a spike in numbers if not done properly. The numbers aren’t dropping, while the concerts continue to go on. Across social media, I have seen videos of New Zealand, partying and having the concerts we all wish to be attending. If we could continue to wear masks, social distance and vaccinations rise at the same time, this issue won’t be a problem in a matter of months. Speaking for all concert lovers, we need to get to work and fix our approaches to getting back to concerts.

Please wear a mask and be safe. The more days that go on, the longer it will be for concerts, so please do me a favor and follow the guidelines. Socially distance yourself and enjoy your music from the comfort of your own home or on a safe drive. While it may be a while for indoor concerts, there is hope in the future for outdoor, socially distanced festivals.