What to Avoid when you’re live streaming a concert

At Doors, we know that live-streams can deliver exceptional and memorable concerts—for performers and fans alike. And we welcome the fact that musicians have gained a new source of income from an industry that has consistently short-changed them.

But, let’s face it. Many live-streams look, sound and feel the same. This limits the impact of the music as well as the size of the potential audience. So here’s a list of what to avoid to create a memorable and evocative experience.

Bad Audio/Video

A straightforward issue, but recurring in the bulk of streams. Not only does this reflect unfairly on your performance, it also detaches fans and makes them likely to dump the stream. Invest in good equipment and spend time understanding the basics of online broadcasting. The additional costs will drastically improve your results.

Locked-off Camera

A single camera filming one frame for 30+mins is tiresome and uninspired. It also doesn’t feel natural for the viewer because the human eye (especially in a concert) doesn’t remain fixed on a single scene for extended periods. Use additional cameras as well as unique angles. You don’t have to break the bank and rent out an Arri Alexa to get a second camera. A phone filming at an interesting angle adds diversity to the stream to spice things up for the viewer.

Unsuitable Lighting

The magic trick that can improve any stream. The right light in the right spot amplifies the content of your show and adds immense value to your presentation, even if you’re filming from a laptop camera. This aspect of a performance is often neglected and the result, even if produced on the highest quality camera, is lacklustre. So when you prepare for a stream, consider the positioning and kind of lighting that you are using: Is the light overpowering? Will the presentation gain more from less light and a focus on silhouettes? Where should the lights be placed for optimal effect?

Playing A Stage

Photo credit Mattias Ahlm. Zara Larsson performing in a lift at the P3 Guld awards ceremony

Streams filmed in venues have artists performing to an audience that is missing. This only reminds us of what we can’t have. The image feels vacant at best and lonely at worst. So why not change the approach? Play on the floor of the venue, form a circle and play to each other, play behind the bar, or in the green room or even at the loading bay. Try to explore the venue’s unique layout and use it to your advantage. Not only will you make it more interesting for yourself and the filming crew, but viewers (especially those who have frequented that specific venue) will appreciate a sneak peak into their favourite haunt.

See Youtube clip

Lack of Communication

Streaming is an opportunity to directly reach your fans and the most effective way is to actually interact in a way that feels comfortable. Chat can be used to make those tuning in feel “seen” and included. This also opens up opportunities to lure newcomers or veterans with deeper parts of your discography and/or merchandise.

Spending some time and effort on these aspects of a show will let you create a more memorable and evocative live-stream. One that stands out.

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