Quarantine has allowed us to stream virtual concerts

By EMILY MELVIN
On April 23, 2020

Photo courtesy of SMP Entertainment, Wikipedia

During the plight of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, the nation is restricted to stay-at-home orders as an act of social distancing and self-quarantine. The country is practically on shut down, and there is uncertainty as to when life will exist beyond the walls of our homes. 

Because of this, upcoming concerts have been either postponed or canceled, a universal bummer to fans and artists. As many of us know, music is truly something that brings us all together. It can provide a sense of happiness and connection, and it can be an escape from reality. 

Celebrities across the globe have been making efforts on their part to unite and share their love of music. With the power of social media and global broadcasting, this past Saturday, April 18, streamed the first virtual concert series “One World: Together At Home.”

Organized by Global Citizen and Lady Gaga, the concert event featured more than 70 celebrities, all partaking in an event to promote social distancing and raise money for COVID-19 relief. According to the Global Citizen website, “One World: Together At Home” is “a global broadcast & digital special to support frontline healthcare workers and the [World Health Organization]."

The virtual concert experience consisted of a six-hour pre-show that was streamed online, leading up to the televised broadcast which aired on all global networks and platforms. 

There was a variety of music genres across generations, sure to satisfy every viewer. The pre-show consisted of artists such as Niall Horan, Jennifer Hudson, Hozier and Billy Ray Cyrus, as well as other guest celebrities like Mathew McConaughey, Lindsey Vonn, Laverne Cox and Samuel L. Jackson. 

The televised portion, hosted by late night personalities Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert in the U.S. and Clara Amfo, Dermot O’Leary and Claudia Winkleman in the UK, consisted of even more musicians, guest celebrities and real families and frontline workers who are surviving during these trying times. 

Early Sunday morning, Global Citizen tweeted, “$127.9 million for COVID-19 relief. That is the power and impact of One World: #TogetherAtHome.”  

In response, Lady Gaga tweeted back:

“I am so humbled to have been part of this project,” the co-organizer said. “Thank you @GlblCtzn. Thank you @WHO. I love you.”

In addition to “Together At Home,” New Jersey, ranking second in the nation for total coronavirus cases, held their own hour-long concert special this past Wednesday night, April 22. The event “Jersey 4 Jersey” was another virtual benefit concert, but this time specifically displaying Jersey strength. 

Jerseyans throughout the state were connected with their most beloved Jersey native celebrities, most notably Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Halsey. The evening was spent with classic hits of Jersey singers, as well as some other Jersey faces, such as Danny DeVito and Kelly Ripa.

The concert collected donations for the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. NJPRF is set to “stop the spread [of COVID-19], support the healthcare community, provide help for the vulnerable, and rebuild our communities.” All proceeds of the event and viewer donations were all given to front line workers and those in crucial need. 

“Jersey 4 Jersey” was a great treat and reminder of unity for Jerseyans. New Jersey has had its fair share of major hits - 9/11, Hurricane Sandy and the COVID-19 crisis - but we always use our Jersey pride and roots to rise above with strength and resilience. 

Both of these virtual at-home concert experiences are just the start to a new wave of entertainment, unity and global fundraising. Times may be tough, but it is refreshing to see a world of people - no matter their background, career, health or financial status - join together with uplifting spirits and one common goal: stay safe. 

 

emelvin@ramapo.edu

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