The show must go on - Dance music parties and festivals you can still enjoy in Lockdown
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
As we move into the summer months thoughts turn to all of the festivals and live events that countless music fans would have been hoping to attend. With classic Glastonbury coverage on the radio and television over the last weekend it’s hard not to lament a summer that will pass without hanging out in a field, on a terrace or club with the hottest sounds pumping from a soundsystem.
This is sadly the situation we find ourselves in and it’s important to remember who is being most hardest hit by this. Everyone from promoters, DJs, artists and the army of support roles that rely on a bumper summer of events will be finding life financially very hard right now. Large parts of the globe are still in the kind of lockdown that prevents any notable event from taking place, so there will be no festivals, large parties, euphoric club nights or live gigs for any time soon - 2020 will be the year when everything stopped.
There however is a growing groundswell of activities by promoters and artists taking place across the web. From live impromptus sets, to larger charity events or curated retrospective collections, there is a phoenix that is starting to rise from the flames. These grassroots won’t replace the void left in the arts by the pandemic but there are signs of green shoots that will hopefully continue to grow within an industry that has shown how adaptable it can be, all it needs is love and support by the millions of dance music fans on a global scale. Some clubs are starting to open with Switzerland being one of the first places to allow their venues to welcome clubbers with such as Weetamix returning to allow up to 100 people to come and dance with social distancing and a midnight curfew. Whilst locations like Germany have banned large events up until the end of October and there’s little sign of clubs opening up any time soon in the UK.
Below we’ve picked out a few notable events taking place over the next month. All we ask is that you consider making a donation to support these endeavours. The Lockdown has meant lots of passionate artists who rely on a steady income to perform online, often for free. There has been a lot of coverage in the media on the impact of COVID on the arts, especially theatres and hospitality, little has been said about nightlife and festival culture. What this lockdown must not result in is the increased normalisation that indulging in the arts is something you can have for free. So think about that takeaway you didn’t order, or that night out that was cancelled and send a much appreciated donation to artists and promoters who have entertained you in the past and hopefully will again in the future.
Lost Horizon Festival - 3rd July- 5th July
One of the biggest indicators that the pandemic was going to have a major impact on the arts and entertainment industry came when Glastonbury made the monumental announcement that its 50th year celebration festival was cancelled. That did not stop many music fans creating their own mini Glastonbury in their own gardens and houses to celebrate along with extensive BBC radio and TV coverage with classic sets and a live micro coverage from Worthy Farm. There was also an excellent tribute of superb DJ sets in homage to Andrew Weatherall on Mixcloud with Fail We May, Sail Me Must. The Glastonbury party is set to continue this weekend as the team behind Shangri-la have curated their own virtual reality party. Set across multiple stages you can explore the site by using your computer, virtual reality tech or by mobile app. The entertainment will be streamed live via Twitch and Beatport. As other virtual festivals have done, they are putting great causes at the forefront and raising money for Amnesty International and The Big Issue. Set across the four areas of the Gas Tower, Freedom, Nomad and Shitv there are a wealth of performances to keep you entertained all weekend. You can expect something a bit different from just a few patchy Zoom sets as they are recorded using green screen technology where artists perform inside the virtual world as themselves or as a bespoke avatar. Some of the acts you can watch over the weekend include Fatboy Slim, John Digweed, Sasha, Jody Wisternoff and Peggy Gou.
Move The Record - 3rd-4th July
Another great event taking place over the course of the same weekend as Lost Horizon is Move The Record. This is a collaboration between several independent record shops who have clearly felt the brunt of lockdown. The weekend will comprise of two days of 12 hour DJ sets from shops from around the globe including London’s Phonica, Halcyon out of New York, All City in Dublin and Filter Musikk in Oslo, to name but a few. You can make a donation to the cause and put yourself in with a chance of winning records and music tech. Participating record shops will also be offering discounts of up to 20%, so go give them support if you can in these very tough times for these essential dance music hubs.
Telekom Electronic Beats Pres. Boiler Zoom - 4th July
Another virtual rave to watch out for this weekend is this one with a select line up featuring Detroit legend Robert Hood, Ross From Friends, Shanti Celeste, Afrodeutsche and OK Williams. Hosted by the doyen of virtual parties Boiler Room, this is part of their Streaming From Isolation series which aims to raise donations directly for Black Lives Matter-affiliated causes. So again, please tune in and spare what you can for this great cause.
Junction 2 Presents J2V - 11th July 19.00-01.00 CET
Spread across three virtual locations J2V has a superb line up of heavy hitters featuring Adam Beyer, Richie Hawtin, Carl Craig, Daniel Avery, Anna, Shanti Celeste, Maceo Plex and a live set from ÂME. Proceeds from the event will go to Black Lives Matter, Refuge, Care Workers Charity, the Outside Project and Trussell Trust Foodbanks. In addition to the DJ sets you can expect Digital Art Exhibitions, The J2V Bar and a Speakers Corner to bring a more community feel to the day.
Carl Cox - Cabin Fever - Every Sunday at 4pm GMT
Arguably the hardest working and most passionate DJ in the world, Carl Cox invites us into his house as he digs through his extensive record collection to drop a weekly set of classics. There is no doubt that the passion is very much still there as it was when he was a young teenager starting out behind the decks. Recent episodes have featured Disco, classic Rave, Chicago House and Detroit Techno. With videos to match the sets in the background and vocal interludes to interact with the tracks and audience it’s a real treat to watch, especially watching the maestro thoroughly cleaning a record he’s about to drop.
Tomorrowland - Around The World - 25-26th July
One of the largest parties has also transitioned onto the online world and has managed to pull together an array of acts for a two day virtual festival. Acts will play across four stages and include the likes of Adam Beyer, Dixon, Tale Of Us, Laidback Luke and Armin Van Buuren. As with Lost Horizon, festival goers will be able to navigate the 3D virtual world using a PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet. There is no need to own a VR set up to attend and tickets range from 12.50 Euros for a day ticket up to larger party tickets.
Finally, we should give another mention to the United We Stream initiative that we covered at the start of Lockdown. They are continuing to run live music events on their website in aid of supporting the Berlin club scene.
There’s no doubt that there has been some monumental work going on over the last three months by the likes of Tomorrowland and Shangri-la. The technology has proven to be a blessing so far and could revolutionise dance music festivals and events with the potential to host more in a post COVID-world where you can go to a festival in the heart of winter and experience different sights and sounds without leaving your own home. Whatever happens though, just remember to support the real life festivals and clubs when they return in 2021. Discover new digital dance music with Trackhunter