featured photo: Joseph Redfield

As the nation grows quiet across many cities, including the NYC metropolitan area, the online music community has grown louder than ever with online concerts. But, as a concert attendee, it can be difficult to make the jump.

Concerts, at their best, are a shared experience. The entire point is to enjoy the music and the performances alongside other people. Otherwise, we would’ve been sitting at home watching Facebook Live concerts all along. So, as we #stayathome it’s easy to be a little cynical about online concerts …  but we’re here to convince you otherwise.

No one knows when the world will go back to normal, so we can’t sit at home hoping our favorite musician will come through town. But, we can experience great music online. Instead of passively waiting for things to change, let’s make the most of our circumstances. Here are five reasons why you should be attending online concerts.

Listen For The Greater Good

If you’re reading this, then chances are you’re a fan of good music. If you want that music to continue after this whole pandemic blows over, then we all need to be supporting the artists we love right now. Many online concerts are organized to promote foundations that support artists and venues who are struggling, so by buying tickets to online events, we can help to ensure that they’ll be in business when the world opens back up again.

Discover New Artists

Ultimately, buying a ticket to an unknown artist’s concert is a bit of a risk. You’re spending your money and dedicating an entire evening (or even weekend) to it. But, online concerts are low stakes. Most of them are either free or just a fraction of the cost of a live concert ticket. So, go bananas. Think outside the box. This is your chance to experience new live music that you never would’ve tested out before.

Broaden Your Horizons

In the pre-pandemic era, you were limited to concerts that came through the NYC metropolitan area, or how much you could afford to spend on a plane ticket. But, nearly every artist who’s trying to stay afloat these days has gone digital, so you’re getting to experience live music from musicians who maybe travel regionally, or have residencies in a certain city. If anything, online concerts have no geographical limitations, so you may as well use that to your advantage.

Get Personal

It’s one thing to see Miley Cyrus light up Madison Square Garden, but it’s another thing to hear her sing from her living room. This pandemic is unique because it affects everyone – we’re all stuck inside. So, you’re getting a glimpse into these artists’ lives that is entirely unique, and (hopefully) won’t ever happen again. Many of these concerts are stripped-down acoustic events, and that is a wholly different version of the stadium-packed concerts we’re used to, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Spread Some Joy

In-person concerts are a community experience that we’re missing greatly right now. So for now, we have online concerts. These events give us a chance to have a mutual experience with our friends and peers; it gives us something to talk about and reflect on. In other words, it brings much-needed joy into our lives. Sure, it may not be the real thing, but it’s still a thing. For that, we should be thankful.

As we mentioned before, most online concerts are free or relatively inexpensive, so it couldn’t hurt to give them a try. Here are a few upcoming concerts that are worth your time: 

May 23: Ben Folds Saturday Apartment Requests | 7 p.m. ET

May 25: Grace Potter Monday Night Twilight Hour | 9 p.m. ET

May 27: We Found New Music Livestream | 9:30 p.m. ET

May 29: Pitchfork Listening Club: Christine and the Queens | 5 p.m. ET

May 29: Royal Albert Home Sessions: Imogen Heap

Ongoing: Kitchen Covers with Drew Holcomb

Ongoing: #StayHome Cantina Sessions with Ryan Bingha

Ongoing: Weir Wednesdays with the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir

Ongoing: Pickathon’s Concert a Day Series