Like every business, the music industry, and specifically soulful music from Scandinavia, it is also feeling the effect of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Gatherings of people large and small have become restricted or banned as they battle to contain the spread of the virus. By now, all countries should be enforcing sensible policies: including encouraging many employees to work from home and self isolate immediately on any sign of illness.
Yesterday Danish artist Marie Dahlstrom was forced to cancel her sold-out show in Denmark, and Charlotte dos Santos (Norway) also announced the cancellation of her US tour. Similarly, upcoming Danish artist Amalie Bryde has been forced to stay in her native country Denmark after flights via Ryanair back to the UK stopped.
For many artists and musicians, cancelling gigs will be financially chilling. Organising and planning them takes time and concerts are often the only opportunity for them to earn any decent money.
For the independent artist losing this chance to also increase their essential fan base is enormous. However, their health and the health of the public is far more critical.
Time to invest in VR?
In adversity, alternative ideas arise. Pay-per-view online concerts could start to appear. Major streaming services may be keen to cash in on a new homebound audience, so independent artists should aim to create their own intimate and exclusive video sessions. Of course, the experience will never rival being there. However, they can be a fun and engaging way to stay connected to music lovers. And it will surely pay dividends when the barriers come down, and the live scene returns.
With no end to the current virus crisis in sight, I can only hope that it does end quickly.
These are new challenging times. I hope none of us loses a loved one before a cure or vaccine to COVID-19 is found.