Except for the biggest pop acts, like the Rolling Stones or Rihanna, and a few hot shows like “Hamilton,” musicians have struggled to fill concert halls. But now the entire business of live performance is in trouble, even for the top stars, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic: theaters and performance halls have been closed since March — and with social distancing in force, they probably won’t open any time soon.
Live performance has been one of the few ways for musicians to make money after cheap streaming services undermined sales of most recorded music. If live performances are off limits, the industry may face its greatest crisis yet.
But all may not be lost, provided performers and the businesses they work for are willing to adapt to digital platforms. These electronic venues might even become a part of the industry’s post-pandemic future.
Consider the following example: On a recent weekend, I tuned into a concert that renowned cellist Yo-Yo…