New Voices: Remote Island: livestreaming the arts in Ireland in lockdown and beyond
Keywords:COVID-19, livestreaming, liveness, audience
This study concerns the impact of livestreaming the performing arts in Ireland during lockdown, and the potential futures for livestreaming the arts. The research aims to assess how Irish practitioners used livestreaming and how Irish audiences’ arts consumption changed during lockdown. A mixed-method approach incorporating desk research, audience and practitioner surveys and case studies was employed. The theme of liveness in streaming the arts recurred in desk research, as such, the concept of liveness was incorporated into survey questions and case study interviews. Three case studies of Irish arts organisations conducted by semi-structured interview, allow for discussion of the impact of lockdown on arts practice, while also looking at liveness, communitas and technology. Analysis of the interviews and survey results finds most practitioners provided streamed content, often unfunded or free, with only a minority continuing to livestream after lockdown. For audiences, physical, geographical, and cost barriers to attending in-person events emerge as a key consideration in accessing the arts.
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