Indulge in wine tasting
Virtual wine tasting isn’t new but it’s definitely expanding now. Quality Wines in Farringdon, London, is hosting daily online wine tasting sessions at 6pm via Instagram Live (@qualitywinesfarringdon) , recommending bottles to buy in advance for would-be wine connoisseurs to enjoy. You can either grab samples from the shop itself or head over to the brand’s Instagram Stories for recommended bottles. Cheers!
Have a self-isolation shindig (with the people you live with, of course)
With DJs such as Black Coffee and Spoony hosting online gigs and music label Defected Records streaming house music from the Ministry Of Sound club, live events have turned into live-stream performances.
Over in the US, DJ D-Nice hosts dance parties at Club Quarantine via Instagram Live (@dnice). ‘Partygoers’ even include Drake, Rihanna and J-Lo.
In the UK, keep an eye on app Bandsintown, which pushes out notifications when musicians live-stream shows, @covidroom on Insta and boilerroom.tv, which has launched a live series that will see some of the world’s best artists broadcasting from their own homes.
Catch a free gig
No audience? No problem. Artists including Snow Patrol, Chris Martin, John Legend and Niall Horan are among a host of celebrities in self-isolation who’ve been streaming gigs on social media platforms, while supporting charities such as Global Citizen.
With isolated fans around the world desperate to be entertained, distracted and motivated during this tough time, artists are bringing music to their followers for nothing via social media platforms.
However, with no warning as to when these gigs will be hitting the web, our advice is to keep watchful eye on the artists you love — you never know, you could catch a free performance!
Join an online choir
Inspired by the display of comradery shown by the Italians who took to their balconies to belt out songs en masse while under quarantine, The Sofa Singers want to do the same thing online.
Each Tuesday, more than 500 people come together for a sing-along on Zoom, where virtual attendees learn a classic song and sing like no one’s listening. And they’re actually not.
Due to delays, you can’t hear all the singers at the same time but you will be able to see them. And share a tea break after. Shame you can’t apply selective hearing to any noisy neighbours. thesofasingers.net
Enjoy a pub quiz
Who doesn’t love a pub quiz? That’s the thinking behind a wave of virtual brain-testers that have been created to fill the void left by the closing of local boozers.
The Quiz That Came From Space at The Deaf Institute bar in Manchester is hosted every Tuesday through Facebook Live, now under the name The Quiz That Came From Quarantine. Creator Daniel Savage (above), in his green alien suit and Viking helmet, welcomes anyone to get involved via The Quarantine Show on Facebook. thedeafinstitute.co.uk
Elsewhere, Newcastle’s Free Trade Inn has taken its pub quiz digital with a bit of help from video-conferencing app Zoom. Teams invited through Facebook can see and hear each other — so just like being in a pub!
Catch a show
The Social Distancing and Stay At Home festivals have been designed to celebrate artists and the work that has been postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic.
SDF provides content that includes clips from rehearsals and webcams, alongside live-streams from around the world. SAHF hosts daily live-streams that include comedy by the likes of Mark Watson (above), podcasts and science-based shows. Also, SDF provides a list of arts organisations that users can donate to, while SAHF provides a donation bucket with profits going to artists. For more on this idea see the next story in this edition. socialdistancingfestival.com, cosmicshambles.com/stayathome
TV night with your pals
It can get lonely watching episodes of Stranger Things by yourself and if this sounds like you, you need Netflix Party in your life. The Google Chrome extension lets remote Netflixers watch the same show simultaneously, which includes pausing for a toilet break. If you have an affinity for talking a lot or asking an inordinate amount of questions, viewers can also join a group-chat that allows everyone to comment on the show. To deal with the demand, the platform has added seven servers.