Digital Festivals: The Top 3 Must-See Virtual Music Events in 2021
May 11, 2021 | by Will Mitchell
While they can never replace the real deal, livestream music festivals have completely revolutionized the entertainment industry, and they’re only becoming more ambitious as time goes on. Here’s our pick of the events you can’t miss in 2021:
1. Glastonbury: Live at Worthy Farm
Glastonbury Festival has been around in one form or another since the 1970s and is hailed as the climax in the UK’s festival calendar. Year on year, upwards of 200,000 attendees flood the fields of Worthy Farm, creating a temporary city stretching out across 900 acres, complete with an army of 400 food stalls interspersed among 100 individual music venues. As for the music itself, the lineup usually consists of several thousand artists from every genre imaginable, with tickets usually selling out in minutes.
Typically, Glastonbury takes place over five days in Pilton, Somerset, towards the end of June. After cancelling the show last year due to the pandemic, father-daughter organizer duo Michael and Emily Eavis were hoping to welcome fans back to Worthy Farm this summer. However, despite a speedy vaccine rollout in the UK, a relentless second wave of infections rippled throughout the country, leaving them with no choice but to cancel once again.
Live at Worthy Farm 2021
The silver lining that emerged from this is Live at Worthy Farm: a five-hour livestream festival to be broadcast on May 22 and again on May 23. During the show, viewers will be treated to performances by Coldplay, Damon Albarn, HAIM, IDLES, Jorja Smith, Kano, Michael Kiwanuka, Wolf Alice, and DJ Honey Dijon.
Directed by the Grammy-nominated Paul Dugdale, Live at Worthy Farm will feature a spoken word narrative intertwined with the artists’ sets, leading viewers on a unique tour of the festival site. In addition to a handful of surprise performances, fans will be able to see artists playing from the Stone Circle for the first time in Glastonbury’s history.
Tickets are on sale now at £20, €23, $27.50 & AUD$35, with proceeds going to Glastonbury’s three main charity partners: Oxfam, Greenpeace and WaterAid.
2. HYDEOUT: The Prelude
Singapore’s Hydeout Music Festival was due to make its debut last year at The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay, with a roster of international talent including Martin Garrix, DJ Snake and Rita Ora. After it became clear that an in-person event was unfeasible, organizers made the decision to switch online with an array of first rate international artists.
However, Hydeout: The Prelude isn’t simply just another virtual music festival. The platform hosts over 40 artist performance episodes, interviews, spanning across 3 worlds and over 20 incredible stages. Besides performances by Alison Wonderland, DJ Snake, Don Diablo, Martin Garrix, Rita Ora and Tinashe, just to name a few, Hydeout: The Prelude gives users the opportunity to interact with fellow fans, by means of chat rooms and multiplayer games.
“Hydeout: The Prelude is wired to connect like-minded people across the globe and bring our favourite music and artists a step closer with one of a kind music presentations and artist stories. It is a place where everyone is welcome, free to interact and celebrate; having an unbounded freedom to experience a first of its kind entertainment platform.”
For the exclusive discount from FestGround, Register on Hydeout Official and checkout by entering the code HYDE.FG to get 20% off.
3. Tomorrowland Around the World
Every summer, the quaint town of Boom, Belgium, plays host to the biggest EDM event in the world. Tomorrowland features on the bucket lists of countless dance music fans across the globe, uniting lovers from across every niche within the EDM spectrum, whether it’s hardstyle or techno, dubstep, or trance, Tomorrowland has you covered. In recent years, organisers have even tried to branch out and attract more diverse crowds by including artists like pop sensation Dua Lipa.
One undeniable fact about Tomorrowland is that their stage design cannot be beaten. Each show is based on a specific theme which is then translated into every aspect of their A-grade production. For the 2019 ‘Book of Wisdom’ edition, the mainstage (bastion of big room and progressive house) was transformed into a colossal library featuring elements from previous years.
Around the World 2021
Tomorrowland was quick to jump on the livestream trend in the wake of a flurry of cancellations last year, and was one of the first major festivals to move online, even winning an award for digital design and development. Riding on the back of their success, for New Year’s Eve Tomorrowland revived their virtual festival ground for a groundbreaking livestream show.
"On July 16 & 17 the magical Island Pāpiliōnem will welcome back the People of Tomorrow to the second edition of Tomorrowland – Around the World. A digital festival with the world’s biggest artists on multiple new stages. As from now, you can unite each year in a spectacular digital way and connect with people from all corners of the planet. Next to this digital festival, we strongly hope we can unite again later this summer at the Holy Grounds of Tomorrowland. More information is expected at the end of May."
In 2021, even though they still plan to go ahead with this year’s live event, organisers acknowledge the prospect of another cancellation (with an update due at the end of May) and have chosen to bring back Around the World on July 16-17. According to the website, the digital show will be adapted to all time zones and will incorporate dance music mainstays with cutting edge 3D technology, production and special effects. The acts confirmed for Around the World so far are Adam Beyer, Armin van Buuren, Claptone, Nicky Romero and Tale of US
“For us it’s a bit like re-inventing the festival experience, but we truly believe that we can bring the spirit of Tomorrowland and entertainment at the highest level to people and homes around the globe.” -Michiel Beers, Tomorrowland Co-founder