Microsoft is helping British musicians to replace their cancelled gigs with interactive online performances. The project, called Re:Surface, will enable fans to experience, collaborate and engage with live, virtual concerts.
The project was developed by Microsoft Surface and singer-songwriter Jade Bird, who embraced streaming following the cancellation of her upcoming gigs due to the coronavirus pandemic. She will be the first artist to use the experience with her performance at 8.30pm BST on 29 May.
“My entire tour was cancelled six weeks ago and from that point everything changed for me as an artist,” said Bird. “I’m a singer-songwriter and my tech skills aren’t the best, which is why the Re:Surface project is so good for me. Microsoft has created a concept and a blueprint that’s really easy to use and it means I can continue to do what I do best, but collaborate with a number of other creative people who can evolve my gigs, taking them to a whole new level.”
Microsoft will release a project blueprint to guide performers step-by-step on how to work with other professionals, use multimedia streaming platforms such as Mixer and improve crowd engagement and monetisation.
“In these challenging times we’ve seen thousands of artists cancel gigs, tours and effectively place their careers on hold,” said Kate Wright, consumer devices director for Microsoft UK and Ireland. “By pairing the power and creative potential of every Microsoft Surface device, the Re:Surface project will not only help artists to resurface cancelled gigs but we’ll help them to achieve more than they ever thought might be possible through the creation of an entirely new way of interacting with their audience during live, virtual performances.”
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