With social distancing measures seeming to stretch endlessly into the future (and into the past, at this point), it’s beginning to feel like everything good has been taken from us. No concerts, no backyard barbeques, no trips—what even is there to do? That question, of course, is rhetorical. The situation we’re in, limiting and bothersome as it is, has also given way to some of the fastest and most creative problem solving many of us have ever experienced.
Halfway between what-would-have-been Coachella and what-won’t-be Osheaga, I’m feeling the strain of a spring/summer without music festivals. Festivals are as synonymous with this time of year as summer camp (also cancelled) and lemonade stands (probably a bad idea), and I’m not the only one feeling the loss.
That’s where Homebody Fest comes in. On the weekend of May 29–31, Homebody will be livestreaming a ‘music festival’ featuring Canadian talent like Ezra Jordan, Allan Rayman, and Francesco Yates. All proceeds raised through ticket sales (you don’t need a ticket to watch, though) will be donated to charities Jack dot org, the Unison Benevolent Fund, and Meals to Heal. While it may not be the music festival you were expecting this summer, just stand outside in the sun all day and imagine you’re waiting in line for 45 minutes every time you have to go to the bathroom while you stream Homebody. In addition, Billboard has a list of livestream concerts that is being constantly updated with new opportunities to enjoy live music from home.
One of the other major losses we’ve experienced this summer due to Covid-19 is the cancellation of travel plans. Whether it was a weekend getaway to New York City or a backpacking trip through Europe, it’s safe to say that those plans have been put on hold for a very long while. Not to worry. While it might be another year before you’re eating gelato at the Colosseum, there are still ways to get your fix of tourist attractions from home. Tons of museums around the world (including the Met and the Louvre, no less) have put their galleries and exhibitions online for our viewing pleasure. There are plenty of other ways to enjoy tourism from home, too: try virtual scuba dives and virtual nature hikes.
If just observing isn’t your thing, there is a seemingly endless number of online lessons to hone your creative side. From painting to writing to music, you can find lessons anywhere online. If you’re willing and able to pay, Masterclass offers courses on thousands of different topics to keep you growing in lockdown for $20 per month.
If that’s too steep, tons of resources are offered online for free. Canadian band the Arkells are offering free guitar lessons via Instagram livestream every day at 1pm if you’re looking to finally learn how to play that guitar that’s been collecting dust in the corner of your room. For me, painting has been a great way to relax and unwind after a long day of doing nothing, and hundreds of Bob Ross painting tutorials are on YouTube for free for anyone to ameliorate their art skills.
If the fine arts aren’t your thing, Harvard is offering a wide array of free courses from Mobile App development to Buddhism to U.S. Public Policy. While you may be enjoying your time away from school, this is a great opportunity to take that elective that never fit into your schedule.
It might seem like everything we once enjoyed has been taken away from us, but a virus isn’t enough to hinder ingenuity and creativity. There’s still so much to do and experience (from home, of course) to enjoy your time this summer. And who knows, maybe we’ll get back to enjoying the real thing sooner than we thought.