With the spread of COVID-19, concert halls that were once filled with screams and shouts have been empty. Many concerts that were scheduled to be held offline were canceled. Singers expressed their apologies and concertgoers who would have enjoyed the performances fell into a deep sense of loss. However, people soon started to consider fresh ideas on how to watch performances. They can now be enjoyed online. Concertgoers can now purchase tickets online a day or even just hours before a performance begins. Once a reservation is complete, all one needs is an electronic device such as a laptop or smartphone and a comfy place to enjoy the concert. Further, to better enjoy the concert, prepare some of your favorite food. In ''First Row in the Room,'' people can watch high-definition performances without restriction or anxiety about buying a concert ticket.
The best alternative
Information about upcoming online concerts can be found on a number of websites, the same websites that were used to book offline concert tickets such as INTERPARK and YES 24. Interest in online concerts as alternatives to offline concerts during the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow. According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, after analyzing about 14 million SNS posts related to daily life activities from July 2019 to August 2020, it was found that reference to home-viewing increased 23.4% compared to the same period a year previously, especially in the field of entertainment. The finding suggests more and more people want to experience a concert by online. Likewise, the number of singers performing online has also increased. SM Entertainment and Big Hit Entertainment singers have held a number of online concerts since the spread of COVID-19 made face-to-face concerts difficult. Details of online concerts that have been hosted by the two agencies can also be found in the FEATURE of The Sookmyung Times 362. In addition to these two agencies, various independent singers including Na Hoonah and boy band Day6 have also held online concerts. Together, the increase in online concerts shows that they have become accepted alternatives to offline performances.
The biggest advantage of online concerts is accessibility. As mentioned earlier, audiences are no longer restricted to place and are given the freedom to book tickets up to just before the concert begins. On the other hand, offline concerts often result in disappointment when a ticket-purchaser fails to buy a ticket. These difficulties of attending offline concerts make people know the benefits of online concerts. Also, attending an online concert allows spectators to see high-quality videos of the singers. One of the major issues with offline concerts is the limited viewing due to seating, view of the performers is often obstructed from various angles. Online concerts have made it possible for the performers and the audience to communicate. A singer is able to feel the joy and fulfillment while they are on stage, and concertgoers are able to forget their disappointment at not being able to physically attend a concert in person. Nonetheless, it is not possible to have as much real time communication between the performers and the audience as that at concerts. That is, a performer cannot see attendees, and the audience cannot immediately respond to the performer's questions. It becomes even more difficult when a performer has pre-recorded the concert. In other words, online concerts have both advantages and disadvantages.
Online concerts and New Year's greetings
It was great news to hear about online concerts because this SMT reporter rarely succeeded in buying tickets for an offline concert. This SMT reporter bought a ticket to a concert that ran from December 31, 2020 to January 1, 2021. The online concert was ''2021 NEW YEAR'S EVE LIVE (NYEL)'' and was being held jointly with Big Hit labels on Weverse, a Big Hit Entertainment community platform. Big Hit Entertainment artists such as BTS and TOMORROW BY TOGETHER performed at the concert. There were also other artists from other agencies including ENHYPEN and NU'EST. The concert ran three hours from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and provided delayed single view streaming, which allowed audiences to re-watch the performance on January 2. Also, viewers who did not purchase a ticket were able to watch 45 minutes of the show on JTBC, so they could enjoy it briefly. This reporter made the decision to buy a ticket about five hours before the performance began. Using membership discount, this reporter bought a multi-view ticket for 49,000 won. The ticket gave access to the concert on various views, namely the main screen, the three multi-view screens, and the two-view studio screen where the Meet & Greet takes place. Once the payment had cleared on Weverse Shop, SMT reporter was given access to the performance link on her laptop and she joined the online concert.
Despite online concert limitations, this SMT reporter honestly enjoyed the concert. The quality of the stage performances were high and flawless in that each singer and the songs were done spectacularly. If audiences wished to view something in more detail all they had to do was click the particular screen and zoom in on the item they wished to see more clearly. The concert allowed showcased interviews with the singers who had finished their performances or had yet to perform. This reporter had access to the main concert screen while simultaneously enjoying the interviews. Moreover, real-time chatting enabled the audience to interact together during the concert. The only major inconvenience was that the concert did not flow smoothly; i.e., there were connectivity issues. While watching the online concert, the computer's server got disconnected and had to reconnect, so it was unable to enjoy the stage performances as much as this reporter would in person. Additionally, the image quality was not maintained well, so this reporter had to accept a lower image quality. Together then, the real disappointment is the price. Others may disagree, but this reporter felt the price did not reflect the experience. Because of this, this reporter contemplated buying additional online concert tickets.
If you miss going to concerts
Although online concerts are not without disadvantages, if you are longing to view your favorite singers on stage, consider buying a ticket to an online performance. Online concerts are now accepted alternatives to offline concerts due to COVID-19, but they will continue to be offered post-pandemic, especially for those who fail to book offline tickets. Online concerts are the foundation for growth during the current era of on-tact, and this SMT reporter recommends anyone interested in concerts to enjoy an online concert at least once.