How to watch Kiwi artists perform live during the COVID-19 lockdown

How to watch Kiwi artists perform live during the COVID-19 lockdown
Photo credit: Supplied.

A concert in your living room has never been more possible, as Kiwi music stars keep fans entertained from the safety of their own bubbles.

Intimate performances are allowing viewers to interact with their favourite artists through their screens while watching stripped-down versions of their best tunes. 

Offering a glimpse inside the homes of some of our top acts, the move is following a welcomed trend seen around the world from musicians who are still keen to engage with their followings.  

It comes as a group of more than 20 Kiwi artists took just seven days to record and release lockdown charity single 'Stay'. 

Written by Anna Coddington with Joel Shadbolt, Brad Kora, Scott Tindale, Ara Adams-Tamatea and Rob Ruha, the track also includes Stan Walker, Theia, Kings, Bailey Wiley, Logan Bell of Katchafire, Fran Kora and Troy Kingi. 

The song encourages Kiwis to stay at home during lockdown, while live-streamed sessions open a door for artists to showcase their creativity and skills while connecting with their biggest supporters. 

The New Zealand music industry has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as large gatherings remain banned under lockdown restrictions.  

Artists like Mitch James, Hollie Smith, Six60's  Matiu Walters and up-and-comer Paige have already been seen following in the footsteps of international superstars like Chris Martin and John Legend in using their time to provide relief to others. 

With at least another week in lockdown, here's where you can check out some more. 

Lockdown Live

This weekly livestreaming initiative is intended to support emerging New Zealand talent, and its first event kicked off on April 8.

Curated by artist management agency NicNaK Media, each Wednesday night local acts are performing live via their Instagram pages from 8pm for a 10-minute showcase. 

This Wednesday, singer-songwriter Kendall Elise will kick off an evening of live music, followed by pop artist Amila, Alex from the duo Alae and London-based indie-pop artist Savannah. 

The line-up for April 22 is expected to be announced later this week.

As New Zealand unites to fight COVID-19, alert level 4 restrictions mean many musicians are not in the same ‘bubble’ as band members or producers, leaving each act to tailor their performances accordingly. 

"Our hope is that this will give artists the much-needed boost to continue performing live for their fans and while doing so, gaining new fans and embracing new ways of reaching audiences," Nik Nak co-director Paula Yeoman said. 

One Love Garage Project

On the back of the sixth One Love Festival in January, a newly-launched series features acoustic sets from some of the festival's most popular lead vocalists. 

Intended to give back to the community during a time of need, local performers were among the keenest to be part of the project when organiser Pato Alvarez asked for interest. 

Katchafire, Stan Walker, Che Fu, Maoli and Three Houses Down + General Fiyah have proven to be One Love favourites at the Tauranga festival over the years.

They will be partaking in 45-minute sets streaming from the One Love Facebook page at 7pm across separate nights. 

Line-up: Wednesday, April 15: Che Fu; Thursday, April 16: Three Houses Down and General Fiyah; Friday, April 17: Katchafire; Saturday, April 18: Stan Walker; Sunday, April 19: Maoli.

Vodafone Lounge Jams

Streaming live performances into homes around the country, Vodafone NZ is behind a four-part concert series to support the MusicHelpsLive charity. 

In partnership with Live Nation, Vodafone Lounge Jams are free for all to enjoy with the adored Homegrown talent. 

With Tiki Taane and Hollie Smith already having already got the initiative underway, Thursday night will see Dave Dobbyn belt out his latest and greatest. 

MusicHelps Live has been providing emergency financial support and professional counselling to those in the music industry hurting from the cancellation of many shows around the country at the moment.

Vodafone NZ Consumer Director Carolyn Luey says that Tiki Taane and Hollie Smith's performances were received beyond expectations. 

"As we enter into week two of the lockdown, many people are looking for new ways to be entertained and to connect with others from the safety of their homes," Luey said. 

"Music can be a real connector, especially live performances that people can enjoy together, and we didn’t want that to stop just because we are in lockdown." 

Spark Sessions 

Spark is keen to connect Kiwis all over Aotearoa with music and each other while giving props to the country's most accomplished artists. 

Promising an up-close and personal experience with an array of artists that has already included Mitch James, Jeremy Redmore and Stan Walker, every Sunday and Wednesday night at 7:30pm a different act will take over Spark's Facebook page. 

On Wednesday, from her East Village home in New York City, songwriter and singer Kimbra will be proving why she's grown into one of our proudest exports. 

Her incredibly creative and eclectic style sees her naturally fuse genres such as pop, jazz, funk and soul, Spark says. 

Kimbra produces vibrant and one-of-kind songs made greater by the soulful tones only she can nail. 

Play our Part

For something outside the top-40 pop scope, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) has announced it will continue to expand its livestream performances and on-demand digital content while it's unable to perform concerts due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Curated by first violin Anne Loeser, Wednesday's livestreamed show features music from Schubert, Elgar, Bach and more. 

The NZSO players will also be joined by family and friends, including guest soprano Maaike Christie-Beekman. 

The Orchestra has partnered with RNZ Concerts to bring the free weekly Play Our Part online series, which sees NZSO musicians join together from within their homes, tonight highlighting the talents of the string sections.

The performance premieres at 7.30pm at live.nzso.co.nz and can be viewed via smart TV, mobile phone, tablet or computer.

You can donate to MusicHelps here to help the charity provide vital support to kiwi music people affected by the COVID-19 crisis. 

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