“Working from home” has taken on a very different meaning for musicians who’ve postponed or canceled tours but seek to connect with disappointed fans on social media in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Few have gone nearly as far in trying to make up for that lost in-person connection as Yungblud, who will perform a full in-studio concert Monday morning in Los Angeles and live-stream it on his YouTube channel.
Scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. PST — with the idea of reaching as many fans around the world as possible during waking hours — the “S—’s Weird Keep Calm and Carry On” broadcast will feature Yungblud performing with a full band and taking questions from fans living in countries where he has had to postpone shows. He’s also asking to see posts from his fans “camping out” in their rooms waiting, as if they were waiting against the barricade outside a venue.
“The world is in such a weird place right now. Everything has come to a stop,” the 22-year-old British artist tells Variety. “My shows are getting canceled left, right and center, and as an artist my connection with my fans is the reason I’m literally breathing and literally alive.” Yungblud said felt the need to bring some light to a dark situation. “I’m an ADHD little idiot (who’s) sat in the f—ing bedroom twiddling me thumbs, going, ‘Get me back on stage!’ So if I can’t get to the stage, I’m going to bring it to them.”
He concocted the idea for a live show online with music and skits, “almost like a late night” show, to provide an escape to those stuck at home. What started as a more basic live-stream concert spiraled into an even bigger, out-of-the-box way of thinking. “Magic kind of happens in stages, doesn’t it?” he said. “As soon as I put the post up, all of my friends started hitting me up and going, ‘Please let me be a part of this!’” Bella Thorne and Machine Gun Kelly are slated to make appearances, as will fellow alternative artist Oliver Tree, who will be cooking a full English breakfast.
The musician said he wants to make as many people as happy as he can because “that’s what f—ing music’s about, isn’t it? Out of hard times comes incredible art.” Although he hopes to rile up his international audience musically, he sounded distinctly like the UK artist he is in suggesting what fans should do after his streaming party is over: “Have a cup of tea and keep calm and carry on.”