Live performances, concerts, and music festivals were some of the first pre-pandemic activities to be nixed in the new age of COVID-19. By the early summer of 2020, virtual performances were the new norm. As we wait for widespread inoculation, it might be a little while longer before we can return to live music as we once remembered it.

And while this is a major bummer, we have to ask the question: why aren’t we appreciating virtual concerts as the godsends they really are? No bathroom lines, reasonably priced beer, and no cute concert ‘fit required—need we say more?

We’ve gathered the best virtual festivals, concerts, and livestreams from some of our favorite artists and genres to enjoy from the comfort, privacy, and safety of your own home this spring.

The War and Treaty: March 20

The War and Treaty performing live with backing band

Celebrate the spring solstice with the refreshing, eclectic sound of the duo The War and The Treaty performing live on Sessions Live (co-founded by Pandora’s founder and former CEO, Tim Westergren) on Saturday, March 20th.

Sessions Live’s VIP bundle includes a concert, exclusive meet and greet, and entry to a virtual afterparty. As we enter the second spring of COVID-19’s reign, facing the reality of the pandemic’s longevity can be disheartening, to say the least.

Cure COVID blues and welcome spring with open arms with The War and Treaty’s captivating, toe-tapping, and irresistible blend of blues, gospel, southern revival, and rock-and-roll. Having been recently named Emerging Act of the Year by the Americana Music Association, this might be one of the only times you can see this heavy-hitter duo without steep ticket prices or cramped crowds.

HAIM: April 17

Album cover of "Women in Music Pt III" by HAIM

We love a kick-a$$ girl band, and there are few bands more deserving of that title than innovative sister trio HAIM. The Los Angeles-based pop-rock band will present a live performance and Q+A session on Bands In Town Plus on Saturday, April 17th.

HAIM released their junior album Women in Music Pt III, a summertime mix of breakbeats, jazzy saxophone riffs, harmonies, and infectious guitar licks, in June of 2020. The group has since released an expanded version featuring major players like Taylor Swift and Thundercat.

Access to HAIM’s livestream requires a $9.99 subscription to Bands In Town Plus, which automatically grants admission to other livestreams happening on the platform this spring, including Devendra Banhart, The Head and the Heart, and Sylvan Esso.

Women in Music - A Celebration: April 22

Orange fist outline on black background, Young Women's Music Project Oxford logo

Oxford, England’s Young Women’s Music Project has provided hundreds of talented female musicians with national platforms and performance opportunities over its 21 years of service. In lieu of a springtime in-person festival, the YWMP is opting for a virtual festival experience this April.

In coordination with the University of Sheffield, the virtual music festival will feature up-and-coming female artists in the UK across all musical genres. Not only does attending this virtual live event put you in the front row of some of the best new voices in indie, R&B, and Americana, it also helps programs like these continue to serve the young female population in their local communities.

The music industry has been a notoriously unwelcoming place for women, particularly young women, and programs like YWMP seek to rectify those transgressions through amplifying—not exploiting or commandeering—women’s voices.

International Jazz Day - The Art of George Gershwin: April 29

Portrait of George Gershwin in suit

The name ‘George Gershwin’ might not ring any bells, but what about the song Summertime? I Got Rhythm? The Man I Love? Broadway songwriter and classical composer George Gershwin is the creative mind behind some of the most recognizable tunes in the American Songbook.

The Skipp Pearson Jazz Foundation celebrates the 10th anniversary of UNESCO’s International Jazz Day this year by presenting two days of online programming, including a children’s program; film and discussion; evening concerts; and late-night jazz jams.

Tune in on Thursday, April 29th, and Friday, April 30th, to hear all of the songs you never realized you knew (and loved) by internationally renowned artists and ensembles.

Nu Deco feat. Tank and the Bangas, Cory Henry: May 15

Still shot of Tank and the Bangas' NPR Tiny Desk Concert

The Nu Deco Ensemble is a flexible, innovative hybrid orchestra that celebrates all genres, art forms, and walks of life. The Miami-based group was founded in 2015, and since then, they have cemented their place within the Miami art community and beyond.

On May 15, Nu Deco will be joined by winners of the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Concert, Tank and the Bangas, and the groundbreaking keyboardist, Cory Henry. This star-studded line-up will livestream their cohesive blend of Afropop, hip-hop, soul, and jazz from the North Beach Bandshell in Miami, but you can listen without leaving your couch.

Pro tip: put on this livestream concert while you do your May spring cleaning for the funkiest, sparkliest, and deepest spring cleaning you’ve ever done. That’s what we call a win/win.

Pride Live's Stonewall Day with Adam Lambert: June 6

Adam Lambert singing into a microphone and pointing towards audience
  • Ticket Price: Donation-based
  • Streaming Platform: Youtube Live

LGBTQ+ Pride Month is marked by the anniversary of the deadly Stonewall riots in late June and early July of 1969. Pride Live, a social advocacy and community engagement group out of New York, NY, celebrates this anniversary with Stonewall Day.

Adam Lambert and his Feel Something Foundation will be curating the musical performances for Stonewall Day 2021, a virtual celebration of diversity and sexuality with musical performances, rallying messages, and more.

This will be the second time Pride Live has moved their Stonewall Day celebration to a virtual format, with last year’s livestream featuring major celebrities and influential figures like Barack Obama, Kesha, George Takei, and Demi Lovato. 2021’s Stonewall Day line-up has yet to be announced, but if last year is any indication, it’s sure to be a star-studded celebration of epic proportions.

Paul Winter's 26th Annual Summer Solstice Celebration: TBA

Paul Winter playing saxophone on stage with band members on either side

Every seasonal solstice, Grammy-award-winning saxophonist and bandleader Paul Winter celebrates the celestial occurrence with a concert spanning multiple genres and featuring a rotating line-up of internationally renowned colleagues that Paul Winter has made throughout his staggering 60-year career.

The summer solstice concert, typically held on June 20th but not yet formally announced when this article was published, is performed at sunrise to create a unique musical journey that begins in total darkness and ends in sunlight.

The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year and the official beginning of summer. It has been celebrated around the world for millennia and is often associated with renewal, energization, and release of old negative energy. Paul Winter’s musical celebration provides the perfect backdrop for meditation, reflection, and planning for the season ahead.

Related Reading

  1. Amazing Museums You Can Tour Virtually Right Now
  2. How We Survived Quarantine in 2020
  3. The Best Paint by Numbers Kits for Quarantined Nights
Easy, Expert Upgrades For The Things That Annoy You The Most About Your Home Easy, Expert Upgrades For The Things That Annoy You The Most About Your Home
We Tried Goli's New Ashwagandha Gummies We Tried Goli's New Ashwagandha Gummies
Is Capital One Shopping Too Good to Be True? Is Capital One Shopping Too Good to Be True?