Universal Music Group X Google

Andrea Bocelli: Music For Hope

We are incredibly humbled to have worked on this project where world-renowned opera signer Andrea Bocelli performed at the empty Duomo cathedral to millions of live online viewers during a time of crisis. The ground-breaking virtual concert was aptly named “Music For Hope” and took place on Easter Sunday 2020.
The stream saw over 28 million views in 24 hours, breaking the record for most watched classical music concert on YouTube. Bocelli’s moving performance touched millions of people around the world at a time when healing and hope was needed most as countries continue to feel the devastating effects of Coronavirus.


We were tasked with carefully putting together a large, local team to safely produce and direct the concert at the empty cathedral, while our UK streaming team managed the feeds and stream locally from home in the UK. Our number one priority was making sure that everyone on the production crew and the artist on location were all safe in these unprecedented times.

Giuseppe Sala, the mayor of Milan said: “The joyous serenity that usually comes with this day has been greatly troubled by the pandemic that we’re experiencing. I am sure that the extraordinary voice of Bocelli will be the embrace we are missing these days, a strong, special hug capable of warming the heart of Milan, Italy, and the world.”

What we did.

Taking place in the centre of Milan, a COVID-19 hotspot, meticulous planning was required to ensure the safety of the crew and the artists as well as preserving the sanctity of the historic cathedral. We sourced a local cameraman and crew in Milan from our global network of talent to set up at the cathedral at different times and with safe distancing from others on-site. We provided full production with three cameras, a drone and a steadycam and particular consideration was put on the audio set up, arguably the most important technical aspect of the project. It was essential to pay homage to the beautiful music and voice with the incredible cathedral acoustics by capturing it clearly and without echo.

Coordinating our Italian production team including directors, creative directors and producers, it was a challenge to run a full production inside a historically beautiful, old and very fragile location, keeping in mind the restrictions of Coronavirus safety guidelines. With 20+ crew travelling to multiple locations for drone footage, our team was also incredibly flexible and worked long hours leading up to the event to ensure nothing was missed and the high quality stream was delivered seamlessly. Organising insurance for the location, the artists, the public and the crew in multiple languages across dozens of stakeholders in a pandemic scenario and with Italian translations was also a challenge that our team managed quickly.

Behind the closed doors of the cathedral just Andrea Bocelli, organist Emanuele Vianelli and a select few technicians were on-site during the live concert, while our engineers managed the feeds and live stream locally from the UK.

Jake Ward, Sales Director at Groovy Gecko, said: “Many organisations and individuals, including artists, have been eager to reach the public remotely in this very difficult time to offer comfort, entertainment and inspiration, and we were humbled and privileged to have this opportunity to help deliver this breath-taking performance by Andrea Bocelli, to millions on Easter Sunday.” Craig Moehl, Founder and Managing Director of Groovy Gecko, commented “Even though Bocelli is a national hero and treasure, it’s the music that seemed to resonate with so many around the world and it was very touching… It’s heartwarming and a privilege to be involved in such a historic event and help bring relief and a message of hope to so many people around the world.” 

The music as recorded live is also now available to download on iTunes.

“I hope you saw Andrea Bocelli on YouTube live at Easter, which just had over 39 million views and it was truly beautiful,”

Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google added.

the results.

The results of this live stream were incredible, with over 121 million impressions and 2.8 million people tuning in live to watch Bocelli’s moving performance. The moving performance set the record for most-watched classical music concert on YouTube, with over 28 million people watching in the first 24 hours and over 41 million views total, at the time of writing.

minutes watched
views in 24 hours
concurrent live views

watch the full stream.

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