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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The new cheap seats for the show are in your own home.

The big picture: It's not just hybrid workplaces or schools. In the post-pandemic world, we'll have hybrid performances, too.

What's happening: Over the past year, musicians, comedians and other performers have had to get creative as the pandemic forced cancellations of their live, in-person shows, turning to online entertainment that has worked better than expected.

Why it matters: Even as more and more Americans are getting vaccinated, many are still wary of attending large, in-person gatherings like concerts. Just 33% of Americans say they'd be comfortable going to an indoor concert after the pandemic, per a recent Performance Research survey.

  • For those who want to wait a bit before entering an arena again — and for those who want to hear the live music but don't want to deal with crazy expensive tickets and long lines — the at-home option could be a great solution.

These virtual experiences are no small affair. Pop star Dua Lipa put on a virtual concert in November 2020 that cost $1.5 million and took five months of prep, reports Rolling Stone. The concert drew 5 million viewers — more than 20 times more people than the biggest live show in history.

  • And virtual shows can even build the hype for in-person ones. Concert tickets for Dua Lipa's tour spiked 70% after her livestreamed concert, per Rolling Stone.

The bottom line: Tickets for in-person shows are selling rapidly now as Americans are eager to celebrate the end of a long year and a half at home.

  • But look for virtual show production to become a growing part of the entertainment economy as the pandemic's lessons extend into the post-COVID world.

Go deeper

Federal judge blocks Biden administration's use of Title 42 policy

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a public health order that fast-tracked deportations of migrant families at the southern border.

Why it matters: President Biden has faced significant backlash for retaining the Trump-era policy, which was implemented as a COVID containment measure. The expulsions deny adult migrants and families the chance for asylum.

1 hour ago - World

Blinken, Austin call out China at event on Australia security pact

Blinken and Austin. Photo: Andrew Harnik/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin condemned China's "aggressive" and "destabilizing" behavior at a press conference Thursday, as they inaugurated a major new trilateral security partnership with Australia and the U.K.

Why it matters: China was not explicitly mentioned in President Biden's announcement of the AUKUS alliance, through which the U.S. and the U.K. will help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines as part of a broader effort to ensure "peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific."

2020 was the deadliest year for environmental defenders

Engineer Sandra Cuéllar is one of many Colombians who've gone missing or been killed for their environmental activism. Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images

Latin America and the Caribbean is the deadliest region for environmental defenders, a violent record that has global repercussions.

Why it matters: The region has several of the most biodiverse areas of the planet, but they are constantly threatened by logging, mining or aquifer overexploitation.