When artists of all sorts pivoted to livestreaming, the results were mixed at best. The technical difficulties of a Zoom show, the learning curve of TikTok, the inevitable energy shift that comes with playing to a computer screen, it can all add up to a bad show. But once NoonChorus entered the scene, enjoying live performances from both sides seemed possible again. The Chicago-based streaming platform was designed with the artists in mind, whether that be musicians, comedians, podcasters, and more who have since found their shows a home on the site. That means dedicated tech support, revenue for artists and venues, and tailor-made viewing options that make each show feel like it’s in a different space. NoonChorus also encourages artist series, or in the case of the Hideout, allows an entire venue to host online performances almost as regularly as they did in person; for audiences, a monthly subscription costs only $25. The system they’ve created, while certainly thriving during the pandemic, has been built for life in the after times—artists can sell more tickets beyond venue capacity, performances can exist online beyond the live timeslot, audiences can have access to shows that they might not otherwise be able to see. Nothing, of course, beats the experience of an in-person performance, but NoonChorus shows us that from the comfort of our home we can get pretty close.
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