We are festival producers and event designers. We believe in the power of gathering. Joyful memories shared among audience members draw communities together. In this unprecedented moment, we ask ourselves: How can we create connection while remaining apart?
On March 1st, we presented our last indoor show with a live audience. The next week, artists began reaching out as their tours disintegrated. We began sending those emails too, at first postponing, then cancelling in monthly increments, and finally erasing our 2020 season all together.
Quarantined at home and staring at a blank calendar, we began to experiment. We started with small scale virtual events which grew incrementally in complexity and scale. A few months later, we took a leap of faith and presented Juneteenth: A Remembrance with Sweet Honey in the Rock at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC. Emboldened by that production, we reimagined our summer festivals in a similar mode - as a series of interactive live streamed concerts.
Along the way, we learned that these new events are not a just replacement for in-person gatherings; they are their own entities with unique opportunities for intimacy, reach, and connection. Artists can not only see the faces of their fans, but peer into their homes. Attendees can “sing along” in the chat and share messages of support and enthusiasm. Performers can call out audience members by name. And audience members around the globe, no longer limited by tour dates and geography, can share in the music they love.
With in-person gatherings on hold for the foreseeable future, ThirdRow.live offers an unprecedented opportunity for artists, presenters, and music lovers to come together to support live performance.