Along with all players in the events industry, the global festival scene has been extremely hard hit by the impact of COVID-19. Most festivals due to take place this summer have already cancelled and it’s likely many more will follow suit. This is a disaster for the festival industry, and leaves its future uncertain.
What it has done, though, is force the events industry to think creatively as festivals devise new ways to survive this uncertain period and the aftermath, as well as make sure their fans don’t miss out on the party at home.
Some of the festivals that were forced to cancel held a virtual festival over the Easter bank holiday. These include Camp Bestival’s Stay at Home Sleepover, Morning Gloryville, Defected Records’ livestream, and Digital DGTL. Most of these festivals donated proceeds to charities.
The concept of the virtual festival isn’t new but it’s bound to become more popular this year. Although it’s not the same as going to a festival, just think of the cheap drinks, the clean toilets, hot showers, and the warm cosy bed – unless you’re camping in your garden of course!
Here’s a list of some festivals coming to a device near you soon. And don’t forget to check out our Events calendar, which we’ll update as other virtual festivals are announced.
When: Saturday 18th April at 1am UK time
Where: Various platforms
Big Acts: Elton John, Lizzo, Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish, Stevie Wonder
Lady Gaga has already partnered with the World Health Organization and Global Citizen to raise millions of dollars ($35m at the time of writing) to fund medical equipment and testing capabilities across the globe.
She’s also launching a virtual festival, One World Together At Home, on 18th April to feature dozens of leading music performers as well as stories and messages highlighting the critical work frontline healthcare workers do.
No donations necessary as the fundraising will already have been completed by the time the festival goes live.
When: Saturday 25th April at 8pm UK time
Where: Block By Blockwest or Discord for account holders
Big Acts: Pussy Riot, Nothing Nowhere, Hunny, Fever 333
You don’t have to be a Minecraft expert or fan to get access to Minecraft’s virtual music festival, but you can expect some cool digital gamification. Use avatars to move around the different festival stages, check out the artist merch tents and art gallery, or participate in a few of its games.
All proceeds from this festival will go to the Corona Virus Emergency Response fund.
When: Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th May from 9pm to 7am and Sunday 10th May 8pm to 1pm UK time
Big Acts: Young Bombs, Danny Quest, Cade, Mammoths, Vegabonds
Travel with your friends to this virtual festival within the comfort of your own home. S.A.F.E is free to attend as long as you subscribe. You can try out some pre-show wellness experiences such as yoga and workouts. During the main festival event, expect interactive chat rooms during live streaming, and competitions to win prizes.
When: Friday 12th to Sunday 14th June 2020
Big Acts: TBC
If you’re wondering how to mosh at a socially responsible distance, you’ve landed in the right place with Download’s digital festival. Expect exclusive footage, interactive content, special interviews, and a mix of great rock music. And you can air guitar like no-one’s watching!
Grab yourself a special edition charity T-Shirt from Download’s webshop to help raise money for the NHS.
When: Sunday 30th August to Monday 7th September 2020
Where:TBC – Updates here
Big Acts: TBC
One of America’s major festivals, Burning Man, is planning to hold a virtual festival instead of in its usual Black Rock City in the Nevadan desert. Introducing ‘The Burning Man Multiverse’, where 100,000 participants will be invited to explore new ways to connect and live more sustainably. It will be ticketed but over 90% of revenue will contribute to the non-profit festival’s many year-round cultural programs.
If you enjoyed reading this blog post, you might be interested in our article about festival apps.
The Jolly Turtle supplies eco-friendly bespoke and pre-packed kits for events, travel, hospitality, and lifestyle, offering a simple and convenient way to shop for all your plastic-free essentials.