What next? What’s happening now? Music, the Arts, Gigs and Festies…
Ruminations with Alan Dearling
World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/news
Another useful data source, used by a lot of press agencies: https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus
So much talk of the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, ‘New Normal’ and ‘Getting back to normal’, but what will it mean for musicians and all the creative folk involved in gigs, festivals and events in the UK and beyond? Unfortunately, ‘confusion’ appears to be the name of the game. It’s not just the advice and pandemic rules and restrictions. We’ve all changed. And we are very divided. Conflicted. Sadly, a lot of ‘disunity’. Many of my close friends and colleagues are now on different sides of the Covid debate. Herd immunity – get everything open – or, keep everyone safe. Will vaccinations solve everything, especially if large sectors of local populations refuse the jabs? Where and when should face coverings be worn? Then there’s the mental health problems created or exacerbated by the lockdowns, and in some cases terminal, economic impacts on some of the venues where music has previously been a way of life.
As restrictions are relaxed, how will we, individually and collectively, feel about face coverings and social distancing, as, perhaps, gigs and festivals start to happen again?
And it seems to be becoming more problematic. Questions about personal freedom; travel; costs and red-tape with Brexit visas and rules; climate change issues – to travel by plane or not? Then, there’s the threats posed by potential street protests and violence – arson and bombs at Covid test centres in the Netherlands – and (as of 3/3/21) swathes of new Covid cases in countries like the Czech Republic, Italy, USA, the Netherlands and across Brazil. There’s so much expert advice and data. So many diverse experiences and opinions. But, a lot more questions than answers. Also, a definite concern about information-overload.
Personally, I’m not taking on any music and arts commitments that involve leaving the UK at the moment. I want live music to return – but safely for the performers and the audiences. Usually, I would have at least three of four European events in my diary – certainly in Lithuania and the Netherlands, and often in Denmark, Germany, Portugal and Hungary.
I’ve also been chatting on-line with musician friends who I miss in Australia. I’m hoping that the Golden Lion and Trades Club venues in the Upper Calderdale Valley in Yorkshire can safely re-open. I hope that Chris Tofu and Continental Drifts can get their acts back into venues and festies. I love the small indie festivals – but I also enjoy the big tribal gatherings, the large EDM dance festivals, where there seem to be more world-citizens and an eco-friendly vibe. And then there’s pub music in local boozers like the Weavers’ in Todmorden with its Monday Club of live music.
But, we’re not there yet. Instead, I’ve nothing booked until working at Kozfest in Devon, late in July. Then, off to take pics and report on the amazing agricultural folk-punk of the Cropdusters’ first gig in over ten years at the Barnstompers weekend down in Dorset. Later in September, I’ll be taking pics and reporting on the Southdowns festival in West Sussex and, with a little bit of luck, chatting with Steve Harley for an interview.
It’s fingers crossed time. Glass half-full…
Next, let’s hear from my muso-friend, Andy Burden.
Luv ‘n Respect, and keep safe and well, to Andy, his partner, Marnie, and to all you readers and music-lovers.