Food & Paper: Virtually Together: Concerts during the Coronavirus (Swarbrick)

Doctoral Research Fellow at RITMO, Dana Swarbrick, will give a talk on concerts during the coronavirus.


Government responses to the coronavirus led to unprecedented social distancing measures across the world. These measures were challenging for many; however, musicians adapted quickly by providing online virtual concerts. Anecdotally, viewers commented that virtual concerts made them feel socially connected despite the restrictions and the technologically mediated interactions. Little research has previously examined engagement at virtual concerts (Pursiainen, 2016), and to the best of our knowledge, no research has specifically examined which aspects of virtual concerts promote feelings of togetherness and being moved. We aimed to examine what aspects of the virtual concert experience and participant characteristics 1) make people feel socially connected and 2) make people feel moved. This research addresses the topical question of how people can feel socially connected in a time of social distancing. Both performing artists and societies can benefit from what this study might reveal about the online concert experience.


Dana Swarbrick is a doctoral researcher at RITMO. She examines the social and emotional outcomes of musicking, with particular interest in live musical events. She conducted her MSc at the University of Toronto examining the effects of high-intensity cardiovascular exercise on piano learning. Her BSc thesis examined the effect of live music and fan-status on head movements at a rock concert. When Dana is not researching music cognition and social psychology, you can find her rock climbing or making music with her band Dana & The Monsters.

Published Sep. 7, 2020 9:52 AM - Last modified Mar. 16, 2021 1:58 PM