COVID-19 and music – stock up on vinyl, not toilet paper!

Photo by Marie Oleinik

There is no sugarcoating it. The situation that arose in light of the COVID-19 pandemic has been hard for nearly all businesses and industries. The live music sector is no exception. With SXSW cancelled and Coachella postponed, there is no way of knowing whether any of the European festivals or shows will go ahead.

Denmark remains in the state of emergency, where the government has suggested to cancel or postpone gatherings of over 100 people. This puts an end to all concerts at Vega, Hotel Cecil, Pumpehuset and other venues across the country at least until the end of March. Unfortunately, the implications go beyond the disappointment of not getting to see your favourite band anymore.

Live music going into hibernation until the virus stops roaming our countries means a lack of job not just for your favourite touring band, but also the venues, promoters, bookers, tour managers, concert photographers and all of us who work in music full-time.

It is uncomfortable, stressful and sad. It is also okay. These are the necessary, precautionary measures that we simply have to deal with for some time. Instead of spreading panic, let’s try and make the best out of this unpleasant situation we are all in.

Alone together: supporting live music in isolation

There is still so much you can do to support music. Purchasing official merchandise, CDs and vinyls is the most direct way of supporting an artist, and we should be doing it regularly, not just in times of a public health emergency. One t-shirt is equivalent to approximately 5000 streams on Spotify. Around 80% of all music these days is streamed, not bought. As you prepare for working from home, visit your local record store and pick up some albums to soundtrack your quarantine. Now is a good time to catch up on the latest music releases you may have missed out on! We recommend: “Win Some” by Cody, “Halcyon Days” by Marí, “Ærlige Løgne” by Dusin, “Jamais Vu” by Den Fjerde Væg, “Replica” by Go Go Berlin and “Rebel” by Rigmor. 

Share your favourite music! Post the album links to your social media, tell your friends about this cool album you can’t get enough of. Your opinion as a fan goes a long way in this algorithm-based world.

The Danish label Tambourhinoceros recommends reconsidering asking for a refund for cancelled shows. “The artists, venues, technicians etc. all need any income they can get to stay afloat,they write.

This is temporary. Once it is over, venues across the world will be filled with live music again, and it will be louder and more vibrant than ever before. So get excited by buying a ticket for a future show! Here are some Danish highlights to look forward to:

The Minds of 99, Parken, Copenhagen – 12. September 2020

Go Go Berlin tour in Autumn 2020

Tim Schou, Skuespilhuset, Copenhagen – moved from March to 18. October 2020

Lukas Graham, Refshaleøen, 15. August 2020

Stay safe, be patient, be kind, wash your hands. Use this time to discover a new favourite band. We all will be back on the dancefloor very soon.

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