Live music is needed now more than ever

Crowd watching a band perform at summer music festival, UK.

A crowd watching a band perform at summer music festival, UK. - Credit: Getty Images

Up until the historical month of March 2020, my life as a twenty-something millennial consisted of nothing but wondering what to eat for dinner and live music. 
Pre-pandemic, my week would be an unusual one if I didn’t attend at least one gig or open mic-night, as a young professional living in the bustling music hub of Bristol.

Visiting my home-town of Torquay in-between work, I’d be at the Apple and Parrot, Occombe Beer Festival, The Foundry, Offshore – literally anywhere I could catch some live music.

On Summer weekends, I’d be in a muddy field somewhere with my friends, all 5ft 1 of me squashed right in the depths of a sweaty, drunken crowd, toes stretching as far as they would go to catch even the slightest glimpse of the band on stage between sets of shoulders. 

For me, there is no other experience quite like live music and my life revolved around it. 

In a year where real-life music experiences have been almost non-existent, the gaping hole that the absence of live music has left has resulted in endless scrolls of iPhone archives, the bitter-sweet nostalgia overwhelming my longing for a slice of normality, as I’d search for past memories in videos I'd taken at gigs and festivals I’d been to in pre-pandemic world.  
This year has been a demoralising one for many bands and artists out there, with creatives feeling deflated by not just financial uncertainty, but by not being able to create and share their music in a way that resonates with so many people in the way that live music does.  
There is also a sense of hopelessness for musicians in the notion that the very thing that they love to do and have worked so hard for, simply isn’t needed in a time of crisis. 
While society is quite rightly focused on the contributions of our nation's incredible front-line workers, there just hasn’t been room to find a role for creatives in the pandemic.  
And yet, even in the darkest of Covid-times, I’ve felt like I need arts, music and culture more than ever.