Who doesn’t miss the high of seeing your new favorite band live? Or more realistically, seeing a band you kind of know play some tracks in a dive bar? Either way, the way we enjoy live music has changed. Gone are the days of crowded venues and packed stadiums…at least for now. Here are some alternate ways to enjoy the wondrous world of live music, even when you’re not allowed.

  1. Rooftop Shows
    1. When the going gets tough, Philly gets going. Recently, some smaller Ohilly bands in residential townhome areas like West Philly and Fishtown have been bringing the music to the streets—literally. A group known as Pat Finnerty and the Full Band were the first of many bands to play full shows from the top of a building or porch. The people walking by? A new audience! It’s not the most lucrative way to play, and pretty hard to track unless you follow the right group’s social pages, but rooftop shows have been overtaking the Philly scene. Who knows, maybe you can find the next big band on your way to the grocery store. 
  2. Distanced Festivals
    1. Who said festivals had to be cancelled during COVID? Shady Grove has already marketed, sold tickets for, and successfully ran an entire festival out in Delaware. Philly Music Fest still hasn’t announced how they plan to handle their late September festival, but the setup seems to be pretty simple with a lot of these shows. Shady Grove set up some socially distanced hangout spots so you could enjoy the artists at a safe length away from others.  Masks were required. 
  3. Drive-In Concerts
    1. Just because you’re stuck inside doesn’t mean you’re really stuck. Tons of bands have been bringing their performances to the comforts of your car. The Front Bottoms are set to play a drive-in set this August. “The Philadelphia date will be held in the parking lot of Citizens Bank Park as part of their “Live-In Drive-In” concert programming,” said the band in a press release. Tickets are sold on a per-car basis, so the prices may seem pretty steep. The more friends you can pack in a four-seater though, the better!
  4. Livestream performances
    1. If you’re still too nervous to leave the house, don’t worry. Live music lives on, even on your laptop screen. Bands have been doing livestreams since COVID began, but as things start to seem more permanent, so do the measures to listen in. Some bands have begun doing livestreams with ticket sales. Tiger’s Jaw will be playing a live set in August, but you can only watch if you buy a $10 ticket. This is best for people who want to try a viewing party with friends, or just support their favorite artists.

There’s no easy way to get live music back in the midst of a lockdown, but right now, this about the best anyone can do. Whether you splurge on a $250 stadium ticket to a drive-in or a few bucks on a day inside with your computer screen and a bowl of popcorn, there are loads of ways to watch music during the strangest time in history. If all else fails, try listening to the live album.

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