New virtual venue to ‘plough money back into the industry’

Live To Your Living Room is a new ‘virtual music venue’ designed to bring artists and audiences together, while offering performers a new revenue stream during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online platform, launched by folk artists and producers Cat McGill and Pete Ord, hosts artists from across the acoustic, blues, roots and folk music scene. The curated programme showcases 10 live gigs per month, with professional audio engineers mixing sound to provide as authentic a live experience as possible. 

McGill and Ord have hosted over 50 live online gigs and paid artists £65K directly in performance fees. McGill and Ord said: “We were conscious right from the beginning not to devalue artists by asking them to play for free. We also wanted to create as much a live experience as possible and to plough money back into the industry and provide a vital lifeline for many who have seen their income dwindle and way of life put on hold.”

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The pair believe that ‘virtual gigging’ will continue beyond the pandemic due to growing demand, especially from those who have felt excluded from attending live gigs due to travel or health reasons. In 2021, Live To Your Living Room plans to host 100 gigs, generating around £120,000, paid directly to performers. “There is longevity in this and I can see artists and bands in the future scheduling online dates in between their ‘dead dates’ while on tour,” they said “It’s a win-win situation.”

Artists and bands who have already been booked to perform include award-winning musician Eliza Carthy MBE, US musician and singer Tim Eriksen, also known for his award-winning soundtrack for the film Cold Mountain, Steve Tilston with Sony Academy award-winning songwriter Jez Lowe and three-time BBC Radio 2 Folk music award nominee and acclaimed harmonica and melodeon player Will Pound.