How To Choose A Venue For Your Online Concert

Online concerts, whether they’re filmed or livestreamed, can be anywhere. But how do you choose a venue? How can you know it’s the right one?

Regular venues like concert halls, theatres, churches, pubs and gig venues are great, especially if you plan on having a sizeable in-person audience.

But if you want to make something really special for your global online audience and biggest fans, you might want to consider more unconventional spaces.

All of this choice can feel creatively exciting, but it might also feel overwhelming. Let us help.

What’s the big idea behind your online concert?

Here at OnJam, we believe that online performances should never be a pale version of a live experience. They should add something new or different to a live experience.

So, another way to ask the question might be: “why are you filming or livestreaming this concert”?

There are many ways you can answer this question. Your choice of venue can make a big difference. Here are a few that we’ve seen that work well.

To achieve intimacy you can’t have in a big venue.

Often, the best audience experiences (and comments!) come from online concerts that let fans hear directly from the artists.

Take your supporters behind the scenes on your artistic journey. Tell them how you approach the music, and what it means to you. Choose a venue that is small enough to feel personal.

If you film your concert and premiere it as a recorded broadcast “as live” on OnJam, join the live chat with your audience. You can continue the conversation with them as they watch.

Alasdair Hogarth’s home piano recital is a great example of a living room concert.

Close-up of pianist George Fu as he plays.
We see pianist George Fu’s hands very close up in Greengage’s Postcards From Vienna.

Choral groups like Amici Voices, Swan Consort and The Gesualdo Six show musicians close-up in traditional venues such as churches. Audiences love their spoken introductions about how they made the film, and what the music means to them.

Studio gigs like Lady Maisery‘s Live In Lockdown and Eliza G’s CONFIDENTIAL UNPLUGGED can also bring the audience closer. Their fans also said they couldn’t believe how good the sound quality was.

To add context or convey a big idea about the music.

In the editing process, add interview footage, images of visual art, photos or animations to your concert. This can give context or a ‘way in’ to the music for people who are new to it. It can also convey a particular interpretation or idea you want to focus on.

In this situation, you should choose a venue that reinforces your big idea or gives you the tools you need to illustrate your point more clearly.

In “Mozart’s First And Last,” La Nuova Musica combine a backstage discussion with the music director, David Bates, about the music before showing their filmed concert on stage at St John’s Smith Square.

Other examples include Greengage’s award-winning classical music films:

Rêves de Jeux Mécaniques (Dreams of Mechanical Games) – filmed in a warehouse in East London, with animations that emphasise the link between Maurice Ravel’s music and his obsession with wind-up mechanical toys.

The team chose this warehouse venue because it looked like several spaces in one, it was available in the middle of the night and it was full of interesting, slightly surreal objects that reinforced the director’s idea that Ravel’s music might make the composer’s beloved wind-up toys come alive at night.

Here’s a still from the film to give you an idea:

Violinist and cellist perform inside of a doll's house
Darragh Morgan and Tim Gill look like they are playing from inside a doll’s house.

Stravinsky Septet – filmed in a yoga studio against a floor-to-ceiling LED screen. The music by Stravinsky is in three movements, each in very different styles. The director wanted to combine visual art from the same stylistic movements to help the audience understand the music in a new way.

Historiae de Divini // Tales of the Divine – filmed in the Colnaghi Gallery in London. This concert explores the link between religiosity and human emotion with music by Bach and Messiaen, and the details of a 15th century painted triptych.

To bring your music to venues that your audience wouldn’t normally go to.

Another option is to choose a venue that brings remote audiences into spaces that wouldn’t normally suit or fit an in-person audience.

Examples include Consone Quartet‘s Barnstorming series (chamber music in barns across the UK) and The Gesualdo Six‘s Summer Sessions filmed in ancient churches and gardens in the Black Mountains in Herefordshire.

Michael Craddock sings in a garden
The Gesualdo Six’s Michael Craddock sings in a beautiful garden.

For more examples of concerts in interesting or unusual venues, plus listings sites where you can find the perfect venue for your next online gig, see OnJam’s roundup of interesting online concert venues.

Do you have an upcoming filmed or livestreamed concert in an interesting location?

Share it with us on our social media channels @onjamhq or write to us at hello@onjam.tv about ticketing your concert. We’d love to hear from you!