Egyptian band Massar Egbari gears up for online concert amid shutdown

Ati Metwaly , Tuesday 17 Mar 2020

The online concert is the band’s way of reaching out to their fans amid shutdowns over the coronavirus

Massar Egbari

Leading Egyptian band Massar Egbari has announced that it will hold an online concert next week.

“The preliminary date of the concert is Tuesday 24 March at 11pm Cairo time. However, this might be changed depending on the feedback from our fans,” Ayman Massoud, Massar Egbari’s keyboard player, revealed to Ahram Online.

The band announced their project late on Monday, inviting the fans to share their ideas regarding the repertoire they would like to listen to, the recording location and the best time for the event. The band used their Facebook page and Instagram account as primary platforms for the announcement.

“We are thinking of including a few of our new songs, but we are also welcoming suggestions from the fans,” Massoud said, stressing the importance of interaction with the listeners in the concert’s preparation phase.

“For the online concert, we want to move outside the studio space. Maybe our listeners would like to see us in a specific location or they will have other suggestions.”

The band’s decision comes amid preventive measures by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus, including closing down cultural venues and the cancellation of the concerts. As such, online platforms remain the only channel of direct interaction between artists and their audiences.

“We had several concerts planned for March and April, in Egypt and internationally. They are all cancelled or postponed. Meanwhile, a big segment of the population prefers to stay home, and the internet becomes their source of entertainment. So it feels natural to hold an online concert,” Massoud explains.

Scores of Egyptian and international musicians and artists are affected by the cancellation of cultural activities. Speaking on behalf of the whole band, Massoud underlines that this lock down is necessary as we must take all preventive measures.

“As artists, however, we can still offer something interesting to our fans. Temporarily shifting to online concerts can add some positive vibes to the cultural stagnation we are all going through.”

The band is still considering the right platform to hold the concert, putting in mind that their fans are not only inside Egypt, but many listeners follow them internationally. As Massoud reveals, the concert will be probably held on YouTube’s live streaming service and possibly other platforms. 

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