In an increasingly digital world, the idea of a music community has been turned on its head. Instead of being communities geographically, we form global communities around groups we belong to, hobbies we enjoy, and franchises we engage with. While this makes us feel closer to people we otherwise might have no idea existed, we can often be more disparate from those around us because of it.
That’s why one traditional pastime has remained unaffected by the rise in technology: the live concert. Our technological prowess can’t replicate the feeling of being at a live concert. Could it be argued that the live concert is the quintessential community event?
Original community gatherings involved those who were nearby one another, gathering together for locally publicized events. However, we are seeing many of these be replaced by online equivalents. Indeed, many classic group gatherings have migrated online, as we can see through the presence of Buzz Bingo online attracting a different audience to traditional bingo gatherings might have done. While there may still be some traditional ones, including film screenings, our penchant for streaming our entertainment instead has meant that we no longer gather for film screenings as much.
There is still an attempt to keep them alive, such as the one by Socrates Sculpture Park in NY or the program BST Hyde Park runs in London, that celebrate classic movies and allow us to enjoy them together. But even events you wouldn’t expect to begin to phase out, such as speed dating, have been replaced by a multitude of apps and websites designed to do exactly what speed dating could do, just more successfully as the range of Tinder weddings show.
However, as live concerts demonstrate, there is room for both digital ways of connecting as a community and more traditional ones. For instance, Bongo’s Bingo diversified their bingo offering to turn it from a standard game of bingo that many were playing online into one that involved dancing, zany games, prizes and a nightclub experience. The game Pokémon Go by Niantic might be a digital single-player game, but it actually helps builds communities in real life.
There are dozens of examples across social media of players befriending one another and going hunting together through Facebook or Twitter. Traditional community gatherings and events will still continue to exist, but they will have to operate in a way that is complementary to online versions. That’s why live concerts are so successful, because there isn’t a way that you can enjoy live music digitally that comes close to the real thing. However, a VR gig featuring Slash did go ahead at the Los Angeles Zoo in 2017, and rapper Post Malone has added VR dates to his tour – so perhaps there is even an amalgamation when it comes to live concerts.
It is important to gather as a community and to build links together, but there are so many ways that we can do this online that many real-life implementations are being phased out. While this helps forge stronger links and ones further afield, the popularity of live music shows that people do still enjoy the occasional community gathering.
Ultimately, an amalgamation of both digital and physical community gatherings looks to be where we are heading.
Photo Source: Pixabay
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