The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a huge blow to the global economy, but perhaps the hardest hit has been the performing arts, sports and any event that depends on attracting large crowds.
However, with necessity the mother of invention, all around the world, performers and audiences have let their imaginations go wild to keep live shows going in the new normal.
Making a statement
Even when events move online, public figures have used their platform to demonstrate how we can all do our part to keep each other safe. And no one does it more glamorously than Lady Gaga at MTV’s recent virtual Video Music Awards (VMA).
Donning different masks with every outfit change, Lady Gaga modelled a look for every occasion, from the retro space sparkle of a silver textured coat paired with fishbowl helmet, to the maroon leather mask festooned with horns and metal embellishments that she power clashed with an emerald floor-length designer dress.
Lady Gaga’s duet with Arianna Grande showcased both women in face coverings, the only performers to do so at the VMAs, making a powerful yet fashion-forward statement about the responsibility we all have to keep each other safe from infection.
Other performers found innovative ways to ensure the show must go on in a COVID world. During a live taping of American TV show, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”, rock band, the Flaming Lips, performed in individual plastic bubbles with only their instruments, while each audience member was also similarly encased.
In the UK, an outdoor concert, hosted by musician Sam Fender, observed strict social distancing by constructing platforms two metres apart for a crowd of around 2,500 people. The festival ground was sectioned off into 500 viewing platforms, where groups of up to five people were seated together. Even the car park was organised so all vehicles would be parked at a two-metre distance from each other.
In Hyderabad, India, a celebrity wedding between actors Rana Daggubati and Miheeka Bajaj followed the strict restrictions of limiting gatherings to 30 people. However, close friends and relatives still got to be a part of their big day through the use of virtual reality (VR).
The event was livestreamed and faraway guests donned special goggles that made the experience of “attending” the wedding as close to being there in person as possible.
Coronavirus-induced creativity was not limited to high profile entertainers; ordinary people came up with their own ways to party during the pandemic.
A Malaysian couple crafted a drive-through wedding to celebrate their nuptials with their loved ones while keeping everyone as safe as possible. The beautifully dressed couple sat on their wedding dais by the roadside while cars drove past to wish them well. Greetings were exchanged and photos taken all without touching, and guests dropped off gifts and angpows into a donation box as they drove through. On their way out, each guest was given a wedding food pack to enjoy at their convenience.
Meanwhile, sports fans in Poland pooled their resources after being unable to watch their team compete live due to strict restrictions on the numbers allowed at the stadium. Fans of the team Motor Lublin rented 21 cranes so that they could see their squad face off against GKM Grudziaz.
The cranes were parked outside the stadium and raised as high as they could go so the diehard fans would not miss any of the action. They even brought flares and banners with them to show their support from up high.
As COVID continues to spur the creative juices to flow, expect to see more fun ways to enjoy live events and celebrations in the new normal.
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