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Quarantine Concerts

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on society with much social interaction occurring over the internet. Musicians and concert organizers responded rapidly to the social distancing measures and turned the internet into their new concert hall. The Quarantine Concerts project aimed to explore the social and emotional effects of virtual concerts.

Quarantine Concerts Webpage Photo: Fluorescent sound wave overlayed on a map of the world.

Poster by Dana Swarbrick // World Map Designed by Evening_Tao / Freepik

In collaboration with the Kama Muta Lab and industry partners across the globe, we collected survey responses from concert-goers.


The popularity of virtual concerts increased as a result of the social distancing
requirements of the coronavirus pandemic. We aimed to examine how the
characteristics of virtual concerts and the characteristics of the participants influenced
their experiences of social connection and kama muta (often labeled “being moved”).
We hypothesized that concert liveness and the salience of the coronavirus would
influence social connection and kama muta. We collected survey responses on a
variety of concert and personal characteristics from 307 participants from 13 countries
across 4 continents. We operationalized social connection as a combination of feelings and behaviors and kama muta was measured using the short kama muta scale (Zickfeld et al., 2019). We found that (1) social connection and kama muta were related and predicted by empathic concern, (2) live concerts produced more social connection, but not kama muta, than pre-recorded concerts, and (3) the salience of the coronavirus during concerts predicted kama muta and this effect was completely mediated by social connection. Exploratory analyses also examined the influence of social and physical presence, motivations for concert attendance, and predictors of donations. This research contributes to the understanding of how people can connect socially and emotionally in virtual environments.

Industry Partners

Image may contain: House, Logo, Font, Illustration, Real estate.

Image may contain: Green, Tree, Arbor day, Text, Logo.

Artist Partners

Alex Whorms

Image may contain: Performance, Entertainment, Music artist, Green, Singing.

Image may contain: Green, Text, Font.

Media coverage

Read an article featuring the study on NRK here.

Listen on NRK radio here.

Read an article in Apollon here

Listen to a podcast on this project and other related research here.

Read an article in Aftenposten here.

Where will the results be published?

The findings of the study will be published in the special research topic Social Convergence in Times of Spatial Distancing: The Role of Music During the COVID-19 Pandemic. A related article is available here. The results were also presented at international scientific conferences including the International Conference of Students of Systematic Musicology (SysMus20) and the Society for Education, Music, and Psychology conference (2020).

Published May 8, 2020 11:32 AM - Last modified May 26, 2021 9:56 AM


Dana Swarbrick

Data collection is now closed and results will be published May 2021.