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Live in Ya Lounge is back for seconds

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It was one of Canberra’s first radical pivots—a rock concert played live with no audience, its members spaced 1.5 metres apart, streamed to screens across the city.

When Canberra band Hands Like Houses took to the (empty) stage in late March for the very first Live in Ya Lounge virtual concert, organiser Rob Cartwright of Event AV Services wasn’t exactly sure what was going to happen.

Would anyone tune in? Would the atmosphere flow with no audience? Would it just be really weird?

Thankfully, the gig was a huge success, with 50,000+ views across Facebook and YouTube. Taking this as proof of concept, Rob and EAVS team set about squaring the permissions needed for the next concert.

As for talent to perform, they didn’t have to look far.

“Once we secured the venue, website and social media platforms, we were soon inundated with requests from bands to be a part of the platform,” says Rob, adding that Live in Ya Lounge now has bookings well into July.

Two of those bands are Canberra’s Aya Yves and ARCHIE (feature image), who will be taking the stage tomorrow, Saturday 16 May from 7.30 pm.

Aya Yves. Credit: Jenny Wu.

While viewing the live concert via Facebook and YouTube is free, Rob encourages viewers to support the artists involved in whatever way they can. Live in Ya Lounge is also on the lookout for any businesses who want to get involved as sponsors to help the series continue.

“Jumping on our social platforms and sharing is great start. If you’re in a position to donate to the artists, that’s also a great help. I think the more traction we get, the better chances we have of attracting sponsorship to be able to keep going. Of course, if you’re a business and would like to sponsor what we are doing, we’d love to hear from you!”

Live in Ya Lounge was first created as part of EAVS efforts to keep their staff employed and busy during COVID, with audiovisual events quickly cancelled due to restrictions.

“We quickly realised that is wasn’t just audiovisual companies who were going to be severely impacted by the current restrictions, but musicians and performers, whose livelihoods depend on concerts, festivals and events,” explains Rob.

“I think the benefits of having something creative to work on, and actually getting to work on events, the mental health benefits of that are hard to quantify. Being able to positively contribute to the community and work with these performers and artists, gives a real sense of purpose and solidarity during this time.”

THE ESSENTIALS 

What: Live In Ya Lounge: ARCHIE and Aya Yves
When: Saturday 16 May from 7.30 pm
Where: Streamed live on Facebook and YouTube
More information: liveinyalounge.com

Feature image: ARCHIE. Credit: Claire Warren

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