Subway performers are embedded in the fabric of New York City, playing to probably thousands of passers-by a day when they set up their stage inside a station.
Now, subway performers have a chance to play to an audience of millions around the world thanks to a concert series hosted by the real-time broadcasting app Live.me.
Live.me has more than 35 million users across the globe, according to Claudie Chen, content and operations manager for the app — that’s about four times the population of all five boroughs.
This week, performers will set up in five different subway stations throughout the city, streaming their shows live through the app for what Chen and her team say is a unique opportunity to reach a large, global audience.
The campaign to highlight these underground (figuratively and literally) artists will continue throughout the month of January, all leading up to the Grammy’s on Jan. 28. This year, the recording industry’s award show will be hosted in New York City for the first time since 2003.
“We think with the Grammy’s coming back to New York City after such a long time, it’s such a glamorous event [but] it’s kind of overlooking our everyday artists and performers that we're used to seeing around us,” Chen said. “So Live.me wants to take this opportunity and give them another stage to shine.”
Live.me’s MTA concert series kicks off Wednesday, Jan. 10 in Bryant Park, 23rd Street, Union Square, Grand Central and 86th Street.
Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. from Jan. 10 to the Jan. 14, more than 120 local street performers, mostly musicians, will share their talents on those underground stages while their performances are also broadcasted on the Live.me app.
“We figure it’s a great time to celebrate music, that's why we want to engage everyone — [whether] music lovers or the everyday New York citizens who might not have paid the most attention to those subway artists,” Chen said.
Following the week of concerts on Jan. 16, the performers will face off against each other in Live.me’s Live Underground x NYC contest. The participants will be putting on shows through the app from anywhere they normally play, whether the street corner, an event or a recording studio.
The top five performers who end up with the most popular broadcasts on Live.me will be featured at a pre-Grammy pop-up concert and the final winner will get $20,000 in cash prizes.
Think of it like “the Grammy’s for the everyday New Yorker,” as Live.me put it, and enjoy the unique sounds of subway performers even if you’re avoiding the MTA.