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Could Hybrid Music Events Be Next Post-Pandemic Trend?

Live concert streaming service Mandolin is blurring the lines between live music and on-demand, helping musicians along the way.

Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He majored in Cinema Studies when studying at RMIT. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury
2 min read

Live concert streaming service Mandolin will host a benefit tonight designed to ease the transition back to in-person events, including a performance from Cage The Elephant.

The MusiCares: Music On A Mission event is a "virtual" concert with all proceeds going towards the music community. It will also feature performances from Jason Isbell, k.d. Lang and a never-before-seen live recording from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

"Music on a Mission started as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and we were blown away by the support from the music community, industry professionals and of course music fans," said Laura Segura, executive director of MusiCares in a press release.  

The MusiCares concert is the latest in a series of live events -- both live and pre-recorded -- which Mandolin has presented in the past two years including recent benefits for Ukraine and Tibet House. 


Laurie Anderson performs at the Tibet House Benefit Concert streamed on Mandolin, Mar 3 2022. 

Screenshot: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Robert Meitus co-founder and VP of industry relations at Mandolin told CNET his company began as a way to bring live events to people in lockdown at home. He says now that people are going to see music again this will lead to more hybrid events in the future.

"The gist of what we're doing is bringing a digital technology (and) combining it with real live musical experiences", said Meitus.

The company recently introduced Rewatch, an add-on for in-person tickets, which will let fans access a replay of their concert on-demand afterwards.   

Meitus said he first experienced a "true hybrid" during the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 2021 watching country music star Emmylou Harris perform while he walked to the stage.

"I pretty much seamlessly turned off my phone and started seeing Emmylou Harris sing in person", Meitus said.

Mandolin is currently available for iOS and Android, and Meitus said that apps for streaming devices such as Roku and Apple TV will come "fairly soon". Meanwhile, users can use Apple AirPlay or Google Chromecast to cast concerts from their phones to their TV.

The Musicares event starts tonight at 5pm PT/8 pm ET, and tickets are available for $25 at mandolin.com. Replays of the event (and late-comer buy-ins) will be available for the next 30 days.