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'We know you can’t come to us, let us come to you' - Operators adopt virtual reality during crisis

20 March 2020 by
'We know you can’t come to us, let us come to you' - Operators adopt virtual reality during crisis

Operators forced to close for the foreseeable future have vowed to keep going by throwing open their virtual doors to the public.

The Piano Works in Farringdon and London’s West End, closed until further government advice is issued, announced it will be streaming live music tonight and Saturday night from 8pm via their Facebook page, encouraging customers who are staying indoors to “turn the music up and escape with four hours of non-stop live music streaming" into people's homes.

The Piano Works founder Alan Lorrimer said: “We are closing our doors but are still committed to supporting our musicians through these tough times and providing our guests with The Piano Works experience they know and love. We also feel a great responsibility, as part of London’s live music community and history, to make every effort to continue supporting our amazing performers. The music industry in London is not only important to our society but also the source of employment for tens of thousands of artist-performers, staff, and suppliers. London has survived much worse threats - our community spirit, resilience and sense of humour have always turned adversity into triumph.”

Customers can tune in via the Piano Works Farringdon Facebook page from 8pm to midnight to enjoy non-stop live music, “dance like nobody’s watching” and be able to request favourite songs for the bands to perform, with 100% donations going to their musicians.

Other businesses offering virtual services include Borough Market's Bread Ahead Bakery & School who are running daily online baking courses every day at 2pm via Instagram Live. Their tutorials, designed to “generally lift your mood with baking tips and fun”, they say are an opportunity to share their “knowledge and passion” with people who are stuck at home.

Coffee-based chain Grind, among those giving away free takeaway coffee to NHS staff, also announced they will be launching a brand new app for mobile ordering and payment of same-day coffee and food for click-and-collect collection, including compostable coffee pods.

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