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Lady Gaga unveils benefit concert while Czech Republic sells fictional ‘tickets’

Lady Gaga has launched a live-streamed and televised benefit concert, while a Prague councillor unveils a support scheme for the Czech Republic’s live industry and Burning Man goes virtual. Here we look at the positive responses to Covid-19 from across the live events and ticketing sector today…

Czech Republic’s non-existent events

Prague city councillor Hana Třeštíková and ticket portal GoOut have launched a fundraising initiative for the live industry in Czech Republic by selling tickets for ‘non-existent’ cultural events, which will (not) take place on May 1.

‘Nic’ or nothing tickets aims to support theatres, concert halls, clubs and artists across the country, as Covid-19 has shut down the live events industry.

Fans can buy ticket as usual on the GoOut portal and choose which non-existent performance, concert or other event they want to see in a theatre or other cultural institution.

Tickets for an exclusive front-row seat cost CZK 5,000 (£162/€186/$205), while tickets for a gallery seat cost CZK 20.

 Třeštíková said: “Artists across the Czech Republic are struggling with the coronavirus crisis every day. Many of them are actively helping their communities, although their own income has basically fallen to zero day by day: theatres are closed, concerts are not held, galleries are not allowed, and online survival alone is not guaranteed.”

The event is intended primarily for cultural institutions that are private and receive most of their income from admission.

Daniel Hrbek, director of the Švandovo Theater, said, according to Expats CZ: “We, as contributory organisations, will not join this event because much of our budget comes from the city coffers. As a result, we are able to survive a difficult period. The money collected now needs mainly an independent culture, to which we want to be solidarity.”

One World: Together at Home

Lady Gaga has launched a live-streamed and televised benefit concert to support the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 response fund.

The event, One World: Together at Home, will feature Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas, among others.

The WHO and the social action platform Global Citizen have partnered to produce the event, which is scheduled for April 18, and will be hosted by US talk show hosts Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert.

In the US, it will be broadcast across television networks ABC, CBS and NBC, while the UK will see an adapted version on BBC One on April 19. The event will also be streamed online.

The WHO’s general director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “We may have to be apart physically for a little while, but we can still come together virtually to enjoy great music. The One World: Together at Home concert represents a powerful show of solidarity against a common threat.”

Burning Man

Burning Man festival has announced it will go virtual after the annual event in the Nevadan desert was cancelled due to Covid-19.

The festival at Black Rock City, which was scheduled to run between August 30 and September 7, has unveiled its plan to “build Black Rock City in The Multiverse.”

“In the Multiverse, Black Rock City exists online, a virtual metropolis waiting for us to come Home,” the festival states.

“We can still build it together, and be together, and Burn together, only digitally instead of in the dust. On the virtual playa, there are no limits to who can join. So let’s do this together.”

Festivalgoers will be able to participate in live streamed dances, concerts, and art exhibits, as well as other forms of artistic training and yoga classes.

Burning Man is also requesting that ticketholders consider donating all or a portion of the ticket value and or make a tax-deductible donation to the project. Organisers noted that it will be forced to make substantial staff layoffs, pay reductions and other cost-saving measures.

Dynamo Brest

Despite the Covid-19 crisis, professional football is still going ahead in Belarus and reigning champion Dynamo Brest has devised an innovative way to fill its stadium for the recent cup semi-final against Shakhtyor Soligorsk.

Dynamo Brest and sponsor FavBet offered fans the chance to ‘virtually’ attend the match by buying tickets online and having their picture placed on mannequins inside the Brestsky Sports Complex.

Fans from Russia, the UK, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Iran and other countries bought tickets and sent their pictures to the club, which then cut out the images and attached them to mannequins dressed in shirts of famous clubs and national teams from around the world.

Each fan received a photo report and video review of the match, while they will also be sent a physical ticket and match-day programme. Fans will also be entitled to a 10-per-cent discount on all official merchandise in Dynamo Brest’s online store.

Part of the proceeds from the sale of virtual tickets will be used to help Belarus’ fight against Covid-19.

Panda Bear

Panda Bear, an American musician, singer-songwriter and co-founding member of the experimental pop band Animal Collective, has seen his 70-minute intimate performance at the Sydney Opera House’s live studio in 2018 released via live stream amid the live events blackout due to Covid-19.

The show was the artist’s Australian debut and has been put out as part of the Sydney Opera House’s Digital Season, featuring a weekly programme of full-length performances, live recordings and unreleased footage from the venue’s archives.

The live stream also includes new concert footage, as well as an interview with Panda Bear and the Sydney Opera House’s head of contemporary music Ben Marshall from last year.

Images: Dynamo Brest