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Sheer excitement: Vertical concerts entertain fans in Ukraine

Vertical concerts have been taking socially distanced crowds in Ukraine by storm in recent weeks, as bands perform to fans stacked on top of one another on hotel balconies.

Hotel Bratislava in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev has hosted an array of acts over the past two months, with rock band Green Grey first trialling the vertical concert concept on 7 June. The popularity of the initial sold-out show saw follow-ups from hip-hop group TNMK on 4 July and rock group O.Torvald on 18 July.

Further shows at the hotel, by Ukrainian acts Pianoboy and Scriabin, are set for August.

The Hotel Bratislava concerts turn a previously tested vertical concert format on its head, as fans, rather than performers are arranged, unlike a vertical show that took place last year in Samsung KX, London, which saw acts play from a 30ft, three-storey stage, designed to fit neatly into concertgoers’ smartphone screens.

In the Kiev concerts, artists perform from a rooftop facing hotel balconies, with a view of the concerts possible from roughly nine stories of rooms, with 14 separate balconies running the length of the building.

“It’s hard to put into words [what it’s like] when you’re performing in front of the hotel, and people from all balconies are singing your songs in unison”

Up to four guests can attend the concert together on each balcony. Instead of buying tickets, fans book rooms at the hotel and pick up keys from the front desk before shows begin.

“We were looking forward to this concert,” said O.Torvald frontman Zhenya Halych following the show. “You can finally look into the eyes of those you’re performing for. It’s hard to put into words [what it’s like] when you’re performing in front of the hotel, and people from all balconies are singing your songs in unison, shining lanterns and making ‘snow’ from napkins. Pure buzz.”

The Ukrainian government this week extended lockdown measures until 31 August, requiring people to wear masks and adhere to social distancing measures in public places.

Hotels have provided the setting for concerts around the world during lockdown, with the format allowing for socially distanced shows while giving a boost to both the tourism and music sectors.

Hotels Live, a hotel-based concert series in Calgary, Canada, also saw fans taking to their balconies to enjoy a live show, whereas Sleepover Experience in Spain allows music lovers to enjoy a weekend holiday package complete with intimate live shows and artist Q&As at the Unite Hostel in Barcelona.

This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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