Take an artful break with these live-streamed events and performances

Whether you are currently responsibly practicing social distancing or live in a place under strict stay-at-home orders, it’s probably difficult to feel very creatively engaged right now. So much of our creativity comes from interactions and collaborations with others, and while video conferencing might fill some of those gaps, it’s not quite an adequate replacement.

To be honest, neither are the live-streamed events and performances we are about to list here, but they are a start. Viewing these emergency-induced live streams is an excellent way to still feel some sort of connection to the wider world of artists, even if from a digital distance. Maybe you will be soothed by watching a musician’s acoustic set. Maybe you will be inspired by a dance performance. Maybe you will find comfort or inspiration in seeing the variety of ways artists across the country (even around the world) are responding to the pandemic by completely reimagining how they reach their audiences. Maybe you will simply enjoy the respite offered by a few hours of artful entertainment.

We should probably also note that this is FAR from comprehensive. If you know of something that should be added to this list, please reach out at creativeexchange@springboardforthearts.org. Be well, and just get through today.


  • Twitter to the rescue: Check out this outstanding living guide to virtual music events, free live streaming, and an assortment of related resources (including emergency relief funds) compiled by music writer and podcaster Cherie Hu.
  • Macon, Georgia’s annual cherry blossom festival has gone virtual, complete with virtual concerts from Macon musicians through April 5.
  • A new music festival for the COVID-19 era: Stay At Home Fest, an online music festival and events calendar.
  • Quarantunes is a transcontinental punk show/festival that has already produced two events; keep an eye out for more or check out the links provided from previous streams.
  • themfest is a virtual arts and music festival by and for the LGBTQ+ community. Virtual events are held on Instagram Live; check this page for new announcements of upcoming events.
  • NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concerts, spotlighting unsigned musicians from all over the country, are all available on YouTube.
  • Brooklyn Bowl is offering the family-friendly Rock and Roll Playhouse “Live from the Playhouse” free live stream for you and your kids daily.
  • Live stream the renowned Parlor Entertainment Harlem every Sunday evening on Facebook, broadcast out of the Harlem living room of jazz musician Marjorie Eliot.
  • The New Orleans-based Sofa King Fest streams all day with different performers playing every 30 minutes or so, all to benefit local musicians, service industry workers, and relief funds (as listed in the lineup). This festival is produced in partnership with the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.
  • Experience Music City virtually with Nashville at Home, which includes Nashville artists live streaming concerts from their homes to yours as well as virtual events and attractions.
  • Fusicology Virtual offers live streams sets from a host of different DJs and musicians, and all donations go directly to supporting these artists.
  • For those who love Berlin techno, United We Stream is broadcasting DJs playing live sets from Berlin’s “techno temples” like Tresor every day at 7 p.m. local time (2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PST).
  • Every Friday, Willis Show Bar in Detroit presents “Willis Show Bar at Home,” a fundraiser for Detroit hospitality workers and performers.
  • DJ D-Nice’s “Club Quarantine” virtual club events held on Instagram are very likely the hottest dance parties in the world right now, with a mix of soul, rock, dancehall, pop, and hip-hop that transitions from more soothing afternoon vibes to nighttime parties (he is known to spin on IG Live for hours).

Big(er)-name musicians who are live streaming

  • Concert producing giant AXS is producing a daily series of live streams from the homes of recording artists called AXS VHS (Virtual Home Sets).
  • Live Nation is doing the same with “Live from Home.”
  • Verizon’s “Pay It Forward Live” presents a new big-name performer (Dave Matthews kicked off the series) every Thursday night on Twitter.
  • If you are particularly partial to the (new) Seattle sound, these Seattle musicians are all live streaming from their living rooms.
  • For a little more by way of indie offerings (as well as bigger names), check out the daily lineup of live online concerts on Stageit.
  • And here are some more roundups of big-name artists who are live streaming via Rolling Stone, Vulture (including Andrew Lloyd Webber with Lin-Manuel Miranda), and Thrillist.

Fans of classical music can indulge in live streams from orchestras around the world. Check them out: 


  • The Metropolitan Opera has a nightly live stream series of past opera performances called The Met: Live in HD; there is a new performance shown each evening that is available for 20 hours.
  • The Vienna State Opera is also streaming previous productions for free each night, and these are available for 72 hours.
  • OperaVision has dozens of filmed opera performances from opera houses all over the world, all available for free streaming
  • The Michigan Opera Theatre is offering “MOT at Home,” featuring recordings, remote performances, Facebook Live opera talks given before the MET’s new nightly streamed performance, and Instagram takeovers by their performers.

Theatre + Dance

  • BroadwayHD, a streaming service for Broadway buffs, has a free seven-day trial period during which you can stream anything from its archive of hundreds of filmed productions from Broadway, The West End, and other elite musical theatre venues. Also check out their binge-worthy curated playlists, which change monthly.
  • Many regional theaters are also offering free live streaming of their productions.
  • National Theatre Live (based in the UK) is also offering free live streaming on YouTube with a rotation of new selections made available each Thursday.
  • Stream the 24 Hour Play Festival‘s “Viral Monologues” from their Instagram account, featuring new monologues written by popular writers and performed by famous actors filmed on their smartphones from their homes.
  • On the Boards is offering free streaming of its contemporary performance films through the end of April.
  • Live stream interactive comedy theatre based on The Simpsons with Planet Ant Theatre every Sunday and Thursday on Facebook.
  • Broadway legend Debbie Allen is offering free virtual dance classes.
  • Watch the entrancing athleticism of Cirque performers in highlights from their iconic show, go behind the scenes in 180-degree backstage tours, and even work out like a Cirque performer through the CirqueConnect content hub.