This month, we’re bringing you a slightly different take on all the nightlife and music worth supporting right now. Understandably, we won’t be telling you to get out and about like usual, but we still want to you clear your schedule for a sling of epic gigs to get into this April. And by gigs, we mean the virtual kind. Let us explain.
The music industry has been hit really hard, with festival and gigs been postponed and cancelled, left, right and centre. That means some really uncertain times for your favourite bands and artists. If there’s a good thing that has come out of this, it’s a whole new realisation on how everybody can keep championing music (more on that here) and one of the big ones, is jumping online to watch an epic live stream.
We’ve rounded up a solid list of local talent who are throwing down chilled backyard live-streams and mega international artists playing live sets at virtual clubs. Welcome to the future.
Here are all the best virtual gigs and live-streams worth tuning into this month.
The legendary duo that is Kayex is hitting an Instagram live-stream on Friday 3 April at 8.30pm. They may claim to be just “two horses from Perth” but these two are a whole lot more than that. Taking huge inspo from the likes of Daft Punk and Kanye West, Kayex gives you the soundtrack of every epic weekend ever, mixing funk and disco with a chunk of electro. You can tune into their live stream right here.
Hayden James has been producing immense summer house jams with all the soulful vocals ever since 2013 and though he’s an Aussie festival staple, this home-grown legend is bringing you a series of backyard live streams every Saturday featuring his wife, wine and absolute bangers. The sessions kick off at midday (AEST) and span around two hours.
Donny Benét’s live session is your answer to soundtracking your self-isolation with those dreamy, post-disco 80s vibes. Benét will be live-streaming every Saturday from 10 (AEDT) from his Donnyland Studio, which will mean a number of covers, guest recipes and a Q&A session to wrap it all up at the end.
Room 2 Radio
Room 2 Radio is a sliver of good news beneath all the noise, and Sydney’s first virtual nightclub.
Kick-off your weekend with a live-stream of local DJs, drinks recommendations and disco lights. There's even a chatroom so you can get your dose of social times too (hey, you won't have to yell over the beats to be heard either). The online nightclub usually kicks off its sets at 8pm on Friday nights (with a rotating DJ line-up) but you can keep up to date with upcoming streams right here.
Sofa King Fest
Sofa King Fest is your one-stop-shop for all things music right now. This online space is giving musicians and artists alike a temporary home will COVID-19 runs its course and has garnered the support from a huge array of creative juggernauts, including Mary’s duo Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham.
"Like most people in our industry, there was an initial scramble to try and create ways of maintaining any level of revenue for the live music venues, every idea (and we had some belters!) were washed out whilst the ever-changing conditions were announced,” Graham told us.
You can find the full list of scheduled artists here (who are from all over the world) and the best part is, you can even drop a digital tip to any of your favourites while you’re watching a live-stream.
Major Lazor essential, Diplo, is whipping up a whole heap of DJ live-streams on the regular amid these corona-fuelled times. Every weekend, you can catch the music wizard on IGTV every in session dubbed “The Thomas Wesley Show” (Thursday), “Corona Sabbath” (Friday), “Coronanight Fever” (Saturday) and a Major Lazer special on Sunday called “A Very Lazer Sunday”. We know, we’ll be tuning in to all of them too.
Club Quarantine is Zoom’s biggest queer club right now and it’s loaded with a program to keep you well and entertained every night of self-isolation. Entry looks like a first-in-first served basis (so make sure you log in and code yourself up on time, there’s a limit of how many can join) and you could be in for the likes of a DJ set starring Charlie XCX or a short cameo from Naomi Campbell or Rihanna. And you’ll want to rest up, these gigs have been known to last around 10 hours.
Defected Virtual Festival
If house music is your jam, you’ll want to feast your ears on Defected Virtual Festival. The virtual festival includes a stellar line-up of international artists who broadcast live sets from six to 12 hours. If you’re into DJs Simon Dunmore, Monki, Sam Divine, Low Steppa and The Shapeshifters, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll find these going live on Fridays, 11pm to 5am (AEST).
Calvin Harris has a new alias and you’ll want to get all-around it. Under a new name, Love Regenerator, Harris is testing out new underground beats on an even newer Instagram handle (@loveregenerator) where he’s kicking some epic spontaneous live streams, which is a big quarantine vibe. So far, the sets have gone for about 80-minutes and you’ll want to keep tabs on when he’s going live right here.
Boiler Room: Streaming From Isolation
The world’s famous Boiler Room is stripping things back a notch with a whole new series for your isolated times. That means weekly takeovers days on Boiler Room’s channels which will be broadcasted to the world from artist’s homes and private spaces. You’ll also be able to donate to The Global FoodBanking Network whose work supports the hardest hit by the pandemic (because good deeds, people).
You'll also want to tune into Taronga Zoo's brand new 24/7 animal live stream.
Design Credit: Kate Mason