The Bright-er Side: Online events give access to the world around us

While stuck inside, new ideas and opportunities are easier to experience than ever before

ILLUSTRATION: Siloam Yeung / The Peak

by Emma Jean, Staff Writer

As I write this, I’m waiting for a live comedy show starring two of my favourite performers — Lauren Lapkus and Paul F. Tompkins — to start. Tickets cost five dollars, the seats are in my bedroom, and the performance is being streamed live from Los Angeles. Ordinarily, this would be a monthly show that happens at a live performance venue in LA, but, thanks to COVID-19, I and the 500 other patrons from all around the world can watch it from anywhere with an internet connection. There are few upsides to this pandemic, and none are worth its overall impact, but it’s remarkable to have global live events be more accessible than ever before. 

For the first time in history, geography, accessibility, and time are often no longer barriers for anyone to see live events that would usually only be able to see if all of those things aligned. Instagram Live concerts are a great side effect of quarantine, but it goes much further than that. 

Museum events like Literary Death Match, which features writers like Roxane Gay, Jon Lovett, and Aparna Nancherla, would normally be seen only at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, but is now freely available for anyone. 

Even local events where students can work through parts of their identity in a more anonymous and safe way online, like QMunity’s BC-based Zoom support groups for LGBTQ2+ adults or Vancouver Quaker’s online meetings for those who are in the faith or find themselves drawn to it. 

Have you always wanted to go to Italy? Check out the Uffizi Gallery to take an online tour. Whatever it is you want to see, you can see with just an internet connection now. 

Things are generally awful right now; there’s no denying that, but thanks to user-driven streaming platforms and widely available internet connections, live events have been forced to come to us. In other words, while we’re stuck inside, lots of the world is now more accessible than ever before, and that’s pretty remarkable. In a time when daily novelty is rare, “get out there” while you can.