As we all begin to return to some sense of “normalcy” after COVID-19, many people, across many different industries, are still figuring out how to best navigate the post-pandemic landscape. This is especially true for musicians. We know — all too well — the difficulties that the pandemic has posed for artists, bands, and musicians who’ve made full careers out of live performance. We also recognize the hardships faced by the newcomers who had their first opportunities to perform live taken away. There have undoubtedly been plenty of losses for the music industry. But with losses also came innovations and lessons learned, and from this understanding, musicians can have the best guide for how to return to live performance and continue to develop their brand post-pandemic. Here are the three things we’ve learned from the pandemic that every musicians/live performer should know:
Make Virtual/Hybrid Events A Monthly Gig
Over the past year, you’ve likely seen the value of virtual gigs; they can have more reliable sound, are often easier/faster to produce, and allow you to reach fans in areas far from your home base. Musicians were — and are still — using platforms like Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Moment House, Twitch, and more for virtual and hybrid events..Even though many venues and live events are opening back up, it is still useful and beneficial for you to continue to book virtual and hybrid events on a consistent, monthly basis. By continuing to do so, you can still provide performances for your non-local audience. Booking monthly virtual/hybrid gigs also provides an efficient way to produce consistent online content that is easy and quick to produce. Additionally, there will still be people who don’t feel completely ready to be in crowded spaces, and doing virtual/hybrid events provides an opportunity for you to provide performances for those audiences as well. Don’t limit yourself!
Dedicate Time Weekly to Develop Your Social Media Content
One of the most important lessons learned this past year for musicians was the value of online content — of all forms. With the extended time at home, musicians were able to build their social media presence, develop a more engaging online persona, and produce more music for streaming. As live music begins to reopen, it is important to not lose focus on online content. Maintaining consistency online is key in order to expand your audience and grow your brand as a musician. For more help on the types of visual content you can use to grow your online presence, you can check out our blog article on the topic here.
Keep Carving Out Time to Refocus and Process
Perhaps the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned this year is the importance of taking time to process your long-term goals, refocus, and recharge your battery. During the quarantine, musicians like yourself, had to spend a lot of time at home, and for many, this meant a time of reflection. Some of you may have used this time to think about the journey you’ve taken so far and whether or not you want to change direction, re-brand yourself, or reaffirm your current trajectory. Some may have used the time for activities like practicing daily meditations or brainstorming sessions. Others may have used the time to simply take a break and recharge. In any case, you’ve learned the value of allotting this time for the sake of your career, but also for your mental and physical well-being. It is equally important and beneficial for you to continue to take time to not only refocus, but also to dedicate yourself to pure human existence and not scheduling everything away.
The pandemic has been a tumultuous time for us all, and it may seem overwhelming to try to return to live music after a one-year gap. But the most important thing for you to remember is to take these lessons learned from this period of transformation and growth and use them to build the new stage of your career.