Crisis Concerts for a Cause
Updated: Sep 18, 2022
By Maya Shavit
In the face of the global challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, every industry has been impacted and individuals have been advised to self-quarantine. During isolation, people are removed from their jobs and normal lives in every field. The entertainers of the generation are unable to perform in many capacities, but everyone needs what they ordinarily produce, now more than ever. This trying time has forced music artists to come up with new ways to reach their audiences. From social media to late-night television to a concert of historic proportions, the creative minds of 2020 have come together to spread their music and keep spirits up.
The first tool which naturally became an outlet for musicians is social media. At any point in the day, there are hundreds of celebrities engaged. Trading Madison Square Garden and the like for their couch, well-rounded musicians like John Legend and Miley Cyrus have used their social media platforms to entertain fans and keep themselves busy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some artists have even released new music during this uncertain time, despite how traditional concerts are unable to persist. For example, Niall Horan, who released his latest album, Heartbreak Weather, on March 13, 2020, has used Instagram to promote his music. Horan interacts with his live audience on a regular basis during the pandemic and went on Instagram Live every day for weeks, following his album release. He told Capital FM radio network that “there were 30,000 people watching which is kinda cool,” as he spills song secrets and performs intimately at his piano. Other artists, like Quinn XCII, have taken their creative skills to scheduled programming. Monday to Friday, Quinn XCII hosts a live game show called “Quarantine Green,” where fans answer trivia questions in exchange for money that is matched by the artist and donated to COVID-19 research. Resources like Live Nation and Billboard have made it their mission to keep fans updated on when and where online to see their favorites perform on their websites and Instagrams.
In addition to musicians, many actors and hosts have found new ways to keep everyone stuck at home in good spirits. Jimmy Fallon, host of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, has continued filming his talk show from home and has added a new element: his adorable family. His show is now filmed from isolation by his wife and, in addition to special guest stars like Alec Baldwin and P!nk, his daughters are a key part of the show. Each time a guest star comes onto the show to play a game or perform remotely over Zoom, they also speak about a new charity. Some actors who have not hosted in the past, like John Krasinski, have taken it upon themselves to spread a little good in the world. Krasinski, known for hits like the sensational show, The Office, created his own broadcast network called, “Some Good News” (SGN), to only share the positive in the world. Krasinski shares heartwarming viral videos, interviews his celebrity friends, and spreads joy through using his connections to help brighten the lives of some well-deserving people of all ages.
While finding new ways to perform and spread joy helps lift the spirits of millions globally, not much can replace the feeling of a live concert. Concerts scheduled through the fall of 2020 have been canceled due to the health risks. Instead, Global Citizen, an organization that brings people together and publicizes world issues, cooked up a new way to gather the most talented people in the world. In partnership with the World Health Organization and megastar Lady Gaga, Global Citizen conjured up one of the most star-studded events of all time to mentally console millions. “One World: Together at Home” was hosted by Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon and had the goal of raising funds and awareness for the COVID-19 pandemic. Amy Poehler, Céline Dion, Chris Martin, David Beckham, Ellen DeGeneres, Elton John, FINNEAS, J Balvin, Jennifer Lopez, Kacey Musgraves, Pharrell Williams, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, Usher, and many more made appearances in this historic event. Major networks ABC, NBC, and CBS teamed up to air the event, in addition to Instagram, YouTube, and many global channels.
While many things are changing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for joy and urge to be uplifted by our idols is stronger than ever. But regardless of status level, people of all ages and situations have also transformed their lives in order to help lift other people’s spirits in these difficult times.