Before I begin, I hope this post sees you all well and hanging in there, if anyone would like to have a chat (music related or unrelated) please do feel free to get in contact, now is the time to care for each other and community is more important now than ever.
That said, in and amongst this uncertain and isolating time, I find myself constantly looking forward to the summer months when we can (hopefully) leave this virus (that shall not be named because I am sick of mentioning it) behind us! In my daydreams of 2020 summer I keep imagining myself sat in a field surrounded by friends, sipping a somewhat cold bevvy listening to mesmerising music. So I decided to do some research and have compiled a list of gigs and festivals that will (fingers crossed) go ahead, which I want to share so others can delight in my daydream.
Whilst writing this post I checked that tickets are still on sale for these events and they are currently going ahead, but please do double check and I apologise in advance if that changes.
1. 7th Aug, Guts @ Jazz Cafe, London, £22.50
I saw Guts this time last year at Jazz Cafe and I had an absolute blast. People of all ages and walks of life were all grooving and boogying together to this funky Frenchman’s music. I had tickets to go and see him again here earlier this year but had to sell them last minute and have been keen to repeat the enchanting experience ever since. For a lively and sociable night, this is one to look forward to.
2. 5th-9th Aug, Boardmasters @ Watergate Bay, Cornwall, £197 Weekend Camping Ticket
Kings of Leon, Loyle Carner, Sam Fender, Lianne La Havas, Damien Marley and Hot Chip; the list of acts at this year’s Boardmasters is extremely exciting and varied. The music however, is only the cherry on the top of this very tempting cake, as it takes place in Cornwall’s famous Watergate Bay, offering beachy entertainment from swimming and surfing to yoga and meditation. After several months of confinement and self-isolation, this sun-filled, melodic oasis seems to be the perfect antidote.
3. 6th-9th Aug, Houghton @ Kings Lynn, Norfolk, £202 Weekend Camping Ticket
If you are looking for 24-hour techno dance DJ sets surrounded by friends old and new, this esteemed festival, set up by Craig Richards in 2017, is one to set your sights on. Despite having to cancel last year due to crazy weather conditions, this festival remains everyone’s favourite UK electronic festival. Not only does this beloved festival deliver all-night-long back-to-back sets by some of the most exciting and renowned DJs, but set in the gardens of a beautiful estate it offers innovative sculptures, art and non-stop spontaneous fun.
4. 30th-31st Aug, Notting Hill Carnival @ London
“Carnival is a heartbeat and you’re just part of that” – Levi Roots. Although the streets of Kensington are currently stripped of their local community due to the pandemic, I cannot wait to see them come alive, loud and vibrant, when Carnival hits this summer for the August bank holiday. Running each year since 1966, whilst Notting Hill Carnival is grounded in Caribbean culture, with its Windrush-generation influence firmly apparent, it has also become characteristic of today’s ‘London’. With live bands and impressive sound systems, Carnival will be sure to pump life back into London’s streets this summer.
6. Sept-Nov, Michael Kiwanuka Tour @ Across U.K
This fast-selling tour is one I am extremely determined to get tickets for; this man’s music brings me so much joy, peace and ease during this crazy old time. Kiwanuka wants his listeners to feel “lost and immersed” in his music, and my personal fave track of his, Cold Little Heart, certainly delivers this desired escapism. Kiwanuka’s eponymous album released in 2019, draws on some seriously significant influences: Gil Scott Heron, Prince and Eddie Hazel to name a few, need I give you any more reasons to consider getting tickets to listen to this man’s music this autumn?
7. 13th Sept, Caribou @ O2 Academy, Brixton, £31
If you can’t make Houghton in August, but are still looking for a night of hip-hop, disco, techno fusion, seeing Caribou is the one for you (and me) this September. This man (Dan Snaith) has delivered seamless albums since the 00s, which continue to evolve and mutate as time goes by. They are thrilling, provoking and most importantly, make you want to move. When I listen to his album now, it makes me miss sweaty druken dance crowds (something I never thought I’d say), so I am finding it very difficult to resist purchasing a ticket. Take a listen and join me.
8. 20th Oct, Andy Shauf @ O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, £24
In a time when we are all seeking guidance, calm and comfort, Andy Shauf’s colourful and observational story-songs (a made-up medium that I think fits the nature of his work) deliver these desired feelings along with friendliness and a promise of sunnier times to come. He is one of my favourite artists to play right now and I keep recommending him to friends and family because his music is truly so joyful. So I am incredibly excited to see this Toronto-based artist in London this autumn (I may even take my boyfriend for his birthday if he’s lucky!)
9. 16th Nov, GoGo Penguin & Portico Quartet @ O2 Academy Brixton, £30
These guys absolutely kill it. I am sitting here watching their Tiny Desk set in complete awe. The pianist Chris Illingworth opens up the piano so he can stick down a few piano strings to make a muted percussive sound; this band seriously love their instruments and music making. So when I saw that they are performing in London this November alongside Portico Quartet, I was one happy woman. Like GoGo Penguin, Portico Quartet are an incredibly talented ambient jazz band that make me want to dance in sporadic movements in a Thom Yorke-esque fashion. I will most certainly be attending this night of electrifying music.
I really hope this brings you joy and something to look forward to, writing this post has certainly brought me these feelings. I plan on writing a few more similar posts – a selection of events in the arts that we can look forward to in the summer and autumn, so if anyone has any theatre, art, dance, literary suggestions please let me know! In the meantime, thank you so much for reading this post and I hope you are all taking care.