Top 20 online events to catch

You’re virtually there!

Published 11 May 2020
Top 20 online events to catch

The PGA Championship, Eurovision Song Contest and the Cannes Film Festival are just three of the latest events to be canceled because of lockdown. 

Thankfully, event organizers around the world are getting creative to bring us live entertainment to our homes. Here’s our pick of the best.  


1. The Viral Film Festival – on now 

Missing the movies? The Viral Film Festival lets you watch films "together, but separately" on Instagram. Each week, curators pick a film, tell you the best place to view it, and when it’s over, everyone meets up on Instagram for a chat about it. So far, moviegoers have watched and dissected North by North West, Thelma and Louise and Network. See what’s on.  

2. How the Light Gets In 2020 – 22 to 25 May  

This festival offers a bit of everything. You can join debates, listen to bands and even enjoy stand-up comedy. What’s more, you can meet others and share your thoughts in virtual social spaces. Speakers include Nobel prize-winning economists Paul Krugman, author Martin Amis and journalist Emma Barnett. They’ll discuss the festival’s theme of ‘Uncharted Territory’ and explore the new challenges we’re all facing right now. See the light

3. The Social Distancing Festival – on now 

Another innovative response to lockdown, this improv festival celebrates art from all over the world. You can explore visual arts, dance, music and theatre, join Q and As with artists and share your experiences in the virtual beer tent. (BYOB). See how artists are keeping creative during lockdown. 


4. The CIPD Festival of Work – 10 to 12 June 

At the first virtual Festival of Work, you can network, enjoy free learning sessions and visit exhibition stands virtually. Keynote speakers include mathematician Dr Hannah Fry, activist Caroline Criado-Perez OBE and organizational psychologist John Amaechi. They’ll host live streams on this year’s themes of Leading Through Adversity, Supporting Our People Through Well-being and Technology and The Value of Learning & Development. Get your ticket today.   

5. The ATD Virtual Conference – 1 to 5 June 

This year’s ATD is also online. It will boast more than 100 hours of content to learn live or go back to later. You can also network in groups or one-on-one via video link. The ATD promise a personalized experience – curating sessions based on your interests. And you’ll enjoy keynotes from L&D heavyweights Ken Blanchard, Erica Dhawan and Keith Ferrazzi. Get your ticket today.  

6. Guardian Masterclasses – May and June  

The UK’s Guardian newspaper has created an online program to learn new skills in a practical environment. You can connect with other curious souls and join workshops from experts such as leadership coach Fiona Buckland, food writer Felicity Cloake and screenwriter John Yorke. Courses cover creativity, business, lifestyle and self-care. Look at the line-up.  

7. Free Art Classes – now 

Learning institutions from around the world have opened their online art classes for free. Draw your own comics, take art shot photos or learn Art History 101. has published its top 10 art and design classes you can start today. 

8. Free Ivy League courses – now 

America’s top eight Ivy League schools are also offering free online courses. 450 of them! You can study topics in Computer Science, Personal Development, Humanities and more. Subjects to catch our eye include Quantum Mechanics for Everyone and Introduction to Dutch. Take a tour on Class Central

9. Emerald Works live demo series – May and June 

At Emerald Works, we make learning solutions that boost the performance of people and organizations. But what exactly do we mean by learning solutions? And how can they help you and your learners? Well, we thought it’d be easier to show you. Over the next few weeks, we’ll give you a sneak peek of our award-winning products. Explore the demos and book your space.  



10. Edinburgh Zoo live webcams – on now 

The gates may be closed, but you can still watch the penguins wobble to their pool, see koalas close-up, and rumble tigers kicking back on the zoo’s live webcams. Here’s Panda Cam for starters. 

11. Harry Potter: A History of Magic at the British Library – on now 

Discover the history of magic and how Harry Potter reinvented it. This online exhibition features the artwork of Jim Kay, early sketches and scribbles from J.K. Rowling, and a virtual tour of the museum’s real-life witchcraft collection. Take a trip to platform 9 3/4

12. Jacqueline Wilson’s tour of Tate Britain – on now 

Author of the Tracey Beaker series, Jacqueline Wilson will teach your little ones how to tell their own stories by getting inspired by art. They can even share their creations online for friends and family to see. This interactive tour includes quizzes, games and storytelling. Take her tour of The Tate.  

13. British Museum virtual tours – now 

 While its doors are closed to the public, you can take a virtual tour of the British Museum and download 1.9 million free images of its catalogue. What’s more, you can explore the 4.5 million objects on your smart phone or tablets. High def items include the Rosetta Stone, a Rapa Nui sculpture from Easter Island, and a 5,000-year-old Mesopotamian board game. Take the tour


14. Celebrate the Class of 2020 – 15 May 

Miley Cyrus, Lil Nas X and Awkwafina are just some of musicians to play the ultimate online prom.   

Facebook and Instagram's Celebrate the Class of 2020 will honor the high-school graduates whose ceremonies were cancelled in lockdown. Don’t worry, you can gate-crash the party.  

15. Rise Up New York! – 11 May 

To raise funds to help those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a New York charity is hosting a virtual gig with musicians and celebs. You can also tune in to see Bon Jovi, Billy Joel and Mariah Carey perform live. Find out more about the concert and the great work of the Robin Hood Relief Benefit charity here.  

16. Classical streams – now  

Is classical music more your cup of tea? Institutions such as the Albert Hall, Berlin Philharmonic and Australian Chamber Orchestra are streaming concerts to enjoy at home. Check out the schedules. You’ll also find free Paris Opera performances such as Swan Lake and Don Giovanni. And the Met Opera is also offering free nightly streams with classics such as Tristan und Isolde. 

Food and drink 


17. Food & Drink Festival online 2020 

From artisan breads to specialist teas, fruit chutneys to hoppy ales, this festival brings together the UK’s best independent food and drink brands. Browse their offerings and if you like what like what you see, you can buy online for home delivery. See what they have to offer.  

18. Kitchen Quarantine – on now 

Want to experiment? Try three Michelin star chef Massimo Bottura’s daily live lessons on Instagram. You can cook along with Massimo, give emojis and even ask the maestro questions. See what’s cooking on Kitchen Quarantine today. 

19. Cooking School – free all May 

American TV chef Christopher Kimball’s online Cooking School has taken down its paywall on more than a dozen classes. Discover videos, recipes and step-by-step guides with photos. Live classes so far include knife work, making pasta and perfecting your curry. Get some inspiration for tonight’s dinner. 


20. The PDC Home Tour – every night 

At home with practicing in garden sheds and pub lock-ins, darts players have been prepping for lockdown all their lives. Now with the Professional Darts Championship (PDC) Home Tour, they get the chance to show their mettle and compete via video link.  

It may be online, but players are real serious. Just ask pro Gary Anderson who was disqualified because of his poor Wi-Fi. Or Luke Woodhouse who wowed viewers with a nine-dart finish thrown in his kitchen. You can watch live matches on the PDC website

Did we miss any? Share your must-see virtual events in the comments below.  

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