Could hybrid music events be the next post-pandemic trend?


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

The MusiCares: Music On A Mission event is a “virtual” concert with all proceeds going to the music community. It will also feature performances by Jason Isbell, kd Lang and an unreleased live recording of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

“Music on a Mission began in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and we’ve been blown away by the support from the music community, industry professionals and of course music fans,” said Laura Segura, Director executive of MusiCares in a press release.

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


Laurie Anderson performs at the Tibet House Benefit Concert broadcast on Mandoline, March 3, 2022.

Screenshot: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The Robert Meitus co-founder and vice president of industry relations at Mandolin told CNET that his company started as a way to bring live events to people stuck at home. He says that now that people are going to review music, it will lead to more hybrid events in the future.

“The core of what we do is bring digital technology (and) combine it with real live music experiences,” Meitus said.

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

Meitus said he experienced a ‘true hybrid’ for the first time at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 2021 watching country music star Emmylou Harris perform as he walked to the stage .

“I practically 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 apps for streaming devices like Roku and Apple TV will be coming “fairly soon.” Meanwhile, users can use Apple AirPlay or Google Chromecast to stream concerts from their phone to their TV.

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