Q: Where does my money go?
The service is ‘pay what you can’ subject to a minimum of 30GBP per performer for a 15 minute recital. Longer bespoke recitals are priced by the artists on request.
- 80% of the fee is paid directly to the performer. 100% of any tips after the performance also goes to them.
- We donate all profits to three charities supporting vulnerable people during the coronavirus crisis: Age UK, Mind and Refuge.
- Lockdown Presents is a social enterprise run entirely by volunteers. Our only costs are for hosting, software and payment processing.
Q: What sort of artists are on the platform?
The performers are all professional musicians and singers who would otherwise be playing in concert halls, theatres, venues and recording studios with the country’s leading orchestras, ensembles and bands. A few examples:
- Elgan Thomas, a Welsh tenor and English National Opera Harewood Artist, who has performed in The Barber of Seville with the ENO, as well as performing with Scottish Opera.
- Chloë Vincent, a flautist, who has performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Northern Sinfonia and the Welsh National Opera. Notable concerts include performing with Imogen Heap at the Royal Albert Hall, The Who at Wembley Stadium and for the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
- Greg Sinclair, a saxophonist, who has toured and recorded with Peter Andre and the Temptations. He also performs his original music projects including at Glastonbury and London jazz venue Ronnie Scotts.
- Marie Schreer, sub-principal 1st violin with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Marie has also played with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, The Hallé and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Marie also collaborates with non-classical musicians and has featured on nearly twenty EPs and LPs including her own groups’ releases.
- Sophie Dicks, an operatic Mezzo Soprano performing with the Welsh National Opera and Opera Holland Park. On the concert platform works include Beethoven’s Mass in C, Dvorak Stabat Mater, Handel’s Messiah, Duruflé Requiem and Rutter’s Feel the Spirit.
Q: What sort of music do Lockdown Presents’ artists play?
The Lockdown Presents community includes musicians from a wide range of styles, so customers can find something for every occasion. There are classical musicians, opera singers, jazz players and singer-songwriters.
The artists list their standard repertoire on their profiles from which you can request. Examples of customers’ requests so far include Mozart recitals, hits by The Who, movie soundtracks, opera classics from Carmen, and singalongs to Shirley Bassey. You may also ask for a bespoke request if there is a particular piece you'd like to hear and the artist will quote an additional fee if they are able to learn the piece.
Q: Is every Lockdown Presents recital a solo performance?
Most gigs are solo or duets. Our musicians and singers are performing from their homes whilst venues are closed, so artists are able to play with whoever is under the same roof!
Q: What kind of occasions work best with Lockdown Presents’ concerts
We’ve had bookings for a huge variety of occasions. The magic of the gigs is the intimate performance and interactive connection with the artist, which creates a really memorable experience. A few of the great gig ideas we’ve seen have been:
- Birthdays - booking an artist to join as a surprise for a birthday video call is more memorable than a bunch of flowers, and is a perfect, thoughtful gift
- Wedding anniversaries - bring back the joy of the day with a live performance of their first dance. People have also booked artists to join get togethers for cancelled wedding dates
- Virtual get-togethers - something different and new to talk about on that weekly family call! Even booking a live music quiz round to spice things up
- Company virtual socials - add some energy and joy to a virtual party or conference with a live gig, you can use voting options and chat function to make it as interactive as you like
- We’ve also had bookings from book clubs trying something new, choir groups, and special events like Father’s Day.
Q: How do I choose the right musician for my occasion
Have a think about the experience you want to create, or the preferences of the recipient if it’s a gift. If they are an opera lover, they will be thrilled with having their very own opera singer. If it’s a family get together, perhaps you want some singalong tunes, or do your grandparents miss going out to classical concerts?
All the musicians on the platform are really friendly and personable, so whoever you choose is sure to make the audience smile!
Q: Any tips on using Zoom for a virtual gig?
Zoom is thankfully very easy to use but if it's your first time using it or our service here are our top tips:
- The best audio is using the Zoom desktop or phone app
However, if you're using a laptop you can join in a browser (the impact is minimal). So you don't need to set up a Zoom account to use our link.
- You and your friends can join the room up to 15 minutes before the scheduled time
This means you can use it to have a quick catch up before the gig. Because we are cheap and cheerful, we use the free Zoom plan, which means the max meeting duration is 40 minutes. Hence, if you join the room earlier than 15 mins before, you risk the meeting ending mid-performance.
- If the performer joining is going to be a surprise
Wait until they've joined before introducing them. Imagine the awkward silence if your performer is 1 minute late...
You performer knows how to handle a (Zoom) room, so a simple introduction like: "This is Sophie, she has a surprise message for you Nana" will do nicely. 👌
Q: Is it fun and informal or stuffy and sombre?
Shake up your quarantini, fill up your furlough merlot and tune in for a Zoomphony. The gigs are meant to be fun and friendly, but if you want something a bit more formal you can let your performer know.
Q: Who are your charity partners?
We donate all our profits to charities that help some of the most vulnerable people affected by lockdown. We feel this is particularly important right now, as charity income is down an estimated 30% as a result of closed charity stores and cancelled fundraising events. We split our donations equally between our charity partners.
Our charity partners are:
- Age UK (supporting isolated older people)
- Refuge (helping women and children facing domestic violence)
- Mind (providing mental health support, including to NHS staff)