Since March of 2020, the Live Music scene around the world has been brought to a near-total halt. With some places like New Zealand being able to run full-capacity outdoor festivals last summer as a result of successful lockdowns and managing the crisis well to certain bands choosing to perform in the USA at the peak of the pandemic with many repercussions following.
However, the UK had no such major events. With countless festivals, including Wireless, Glastonbury and Reading/Leeds being cancelled and only likely to go ahead this year with most restrictions being lifted, resulting in many artists and fans missing out on the glory of live performances for the better half of over 15 months.
Despite this, many artists still made attempts to perform and provide entertainment, as seen with indie/alternative act “Kawala” playing multiple shows across the UK in cities like London and Birmingham in the summer of 2020 with a twist. As the band performed for free in parks, allowing local fans to gather for the events through WhatsApp groupchats and Instagram stories to find the performance location. This month, another band “Hotel Lux” is conducting a UK-wide tour across indoor venues in London, Blackpool, Birmingham and many other cities, although the catch is still that of having to socially distance. This is not necessarily a bad experience, but it still feels much different to that of a pre-covid gig, with countless people surrounding you and enjoying the time in a tight space.
The recent news of July 19th being targeted as the final day of any lockdown restrictions in England, it means that the atmosphere of having to push against other fans to reach barriers, moshing, singing around and dancing for hours at a time will return. With Reading and Leeds festivals being greenlit for August, thousands of individuals will arrive to experience a full weekend worth of music for the first time in close to two years. More intimate concerts in indoor venues are also returning without any distancing, just like pre-pandemic times, with American duo “I Don’t Know How But They Found Me” announcing a headline show in London’s O2 Kentish Town Forum expecting to happen with capacity attendance mere days after their festival performances.
All of this alongside the announcement from the English government that social distancing and other forms of covid restrictions will be lifted on the 19th of July confirmed that fans will be able to return to a comfortable space and enjoy live music like they did in 2019. Although, a full return to normality with concerts may not be immediate, as talks of potential vaccine passports to prevent the spread of covid are a visible option. Moreover, lots of shows are still being pushed back to 2022, despite the reopening, such as Dua Lipa’s concerts, which was planned for September of this year and is now expected to occur in 2022. Many artists appear to be struggling with rescheduling shows in the first place, with “The Regrettes” being amongst them, having announced a UK tour for March 2020, yet being unable to provide more information, as to when the new shows will happen in the future. As a result, people still do not have clear certainty of when and how shows will return to the old days, but at least there are a lot of events to look forward to beginning from the 19th July.
All of the artists mentioned in this article can be found on any streaming app.