As Australians and people around the world are being asked to help stop the spread of the COVID-19, the practice of social distancing has become bottom line. With non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people banned by the Federal Government, communities have rallied together to maintain hope and camaraderie by heading online. So if you're practising social distancing right now, here's everything you can enjoy right now for free.
EXPLORE NGV’S VIRTUAL TOURS & ONLINE MATERIALS
Many of Australia's cultural institutions have now closed to avoid the spread of the virus, including the National Gallery of Victoria. Responding to the circumstances, the NGV has announced a plethora of free virtual tours, ebooks, online galleries, and children’s activities will be available soon. These digital materials are in addition to the gallery’s already hefty online collection, which features 75,000 works—90 per cent of which are available to the public. From Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines to Kaws: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness, these online tours a must from your bedroom floor.
EMBRACE THE AUSTRALIAN MUSIC COMMUNITY
This weekend, you can help raise money for the Australian music community from the comfort of your screen, thanks to quick-thinking music festival, Isol-Aid. Pitched as an 'Instagram Live Music Festival' and fundraising event featuring 72 local artists like Merpire, Stella Donnelly, Julia Jacklin, Angie McMahon, Didirri, Clews and more; artists will be performing in an effort to fundraise to give back to the scene that's suffering from the COVID-19 shutdown. Spanning across two days, the livestreaming event will encourage viewers to donate to Support Act.
ENJOY THE MSO PERFORM LIVE
In an effort to keep spirits high and "keep music going", Melbourne Symphony Orchestra have announced their scheduled performance of Scheherazade would still go ahead via livestream. Since the decision, the MSO has shared other physically-cancelled concerts online too, all to which are free to watch on their YouTube. With a list of upcoming concerts coming to the livestream, it's a great chance to support the MSO as they endeavour to perform to us digitally.
HEAD TO THE ZOO WITH #ANIMALSATHOME
If you're longing for a cute animal fix while you're rugged up at home, Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo have set up a few livestream cameras so you can watch your fave animals from the comfort of your couch. Featuring the likes of Melbourne Zoo's adorable baby snow leopard cubs, Werribee Open Range Zoo's lazy lions and many more furry friends, the animals wander wherever they please—so spotting them on the #AnimalsAtHome page even more fun.
TAKE IN EMPTY SCENERY ACROSS EUROPE
As countries across the world go into lockdown, public live feeds from iconic Europe tourist destinations make for interesting, eerie, and peculiar viewing. The sights, typically filled to the brim with locals and tourists, are utterly deserted except for the odd straggler or two. While a somber reminder of the world today, it's a fascinating opportunity to scenery watch with a sense of slowness. Public cams we recommend checking out include the Trevi Fountain in Rome, St Mark’s Square in Venice, Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona, and the Amalfi Coast in Italy to name a few.
SUPPORT AUSSIE DESIGNERS AT THE PERTH VIRTUAL UPMARKET
In response to the pandemic, one of Perth's biggest design markets has decided to head online, encouraging Australians to continue supporting local makers. The Perth Upmarket—known for bringing independent retailers together for over 12-years in WA—made the swift decision after gatherings of over 500 people were banned. With shipping options available nationwide, the market's move to go virtual is a win for the design community; with the online store stocking everything from homewares to locally made clothing. The first virtual market will take place 9am on Saturday 21 March to 9pm on Sunday 22 March, so be sure to browse then.