The COVID-19 pandemic caused the closures of live music venues in Melbourne, Australia between March and November 2020. During this period, punk band Clowns and metal band Ocean Grove used the social media platform Instagram to engage their audiences and maintain their standing within their scene despite not being able to engage in regular activities such as live performance. This article analyses the strategies used by the bands, including fan engagement and dialogue, nostalgia for pre-pandemic times, and promotion and fundraising. When used in combination, these categories enabled the bands to solicit conversation from their fans, foster unity by reminiscing about previous successes, and promote merchandise and support organizations which mitigated the loss of income across the industry.
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