By now, we’re all well aware of the impacts of COVID-19 on our music scene. But what can us fans do to ease the pain?
We’ve compiled a list of simple things we can all do to support artists and venues until we get our old normal back.
Whenever that may be.
1. Buy their music
This sounds very obvious. But too many of us (me included) are guilty of streaming music from the big players like Spotify.
Gone are the days of the iconic Sony Walkman and mp3 players. But even so, there are still plenty of reasons why you should buy your music directly.
Major streaming services like Spotify pay artists very little per stream. So, unless you’re Liam Gallagher and getting millions of streams a month, it’s harder for smaller artists to generate an income from.
Agreed: Spotify is great for playlists and discovering new music. But consider buying your favourite songs outright on another service at the same time. You can do this on Bandcamp, Beatport, Amazon or iTunes. What’s more, the first Friday of every month is Bandcamp Friday where they waive their revenue share. This means more than 90% of your money goes straight to the artist.
FYI, the next one is February 5.
2. Visit their online stores for merch
Well because who doesn’t love a tote bag? Or perhaps a baggy tour T-shirt stolen from your other half?
Plus, what’s one step further than purchasing music from the above-mentioned music services? Answer: buying an album straight from an artist’s online store. Again, this means even more of the money you pay reaches the people who deserve it.
If you’re lucky, you might even be able to get your hands on a limited edition signed copy this way. No excuses, now.
3. Keep hold of rescheduled gig and festival tickets
Learning that your upcoming gigs were getting cancelled one by one last year was a devastating state of affairs. But at times you’d probably rather choose a refund, opting to keep your tickets for a rescheduled show could really help organisers and artists out.
Think of it as an investment into your future self’s social life.
4. Support livestreams
Throughout lockdown we’ve been inundated with livestreams and online gigs. They are the next best thing to live music, after all. More often than not they raise a tonne of money for charity, too.
Some have been ticketed, like the virtual reality Blossoms and Liam Gallagher gigs before Christmas. Whilst others have been free, like the Hacienda House Party. But either way, they brought music to our living rooms in the most 2020 way. With who knows how many more lockdowns we’re yet to endure, long live the livestream.
5. Follow their social media
This sounds like another obvious one. Yet I bet there are loads of artists in your top 10 that you don’t actually follow on social media.
Liking, sharing and commenting on their content and subscribing to their YouTube channels will work wonders for their growth whilst they’re unable to play. Besides, it means you can stay even more up to date with them and any new music out soon. Oh, and it also costs you nothing.
6. Support the venues too
Let’s not forget our beloved music venues and clubs that have been forced to close as well. Some of them have been able to diversify to put on socially distanced and seated events. Social Avenue and the Progress Centre provided us with some delightful lineups to keep us occupied in the summer.
Granted, our current lockdown situation won’t allow it now. Best believe when these events are up and running though, I’ll be first in the queue.
Other venues and clubs took a different approach and simply offered takeaway pints. And to be honest, I’ve grown fond of drinking beer from milk bottles, anyway.
Whatever your local venue has done to stay afloat, get behind it.
7. Donate money to charities and Crowdfunders
We’ve mentioned a number of ways that you can donate to save venues and artists and support the struggling music scene in the past. The WeMakeEvents campaign painted the world red to raise awareness earlier this year. But local to Manchester, community led projects, schemes and even a limited-edition crowdfunding coffee have raised money for charities to help keep the music playing.
Watch adorable Lottie, 7, wowing crowds at Manchester Carnival on stage with Serani
A tiny singer has ended up as one of the stars of the show at Manchester Caribbean Carnival after she was pulled up on stage by dancehall singer Serani.
Little Lottie, at just seven years old, belted out a verse of the star’s hit song No Games while the huge crowd cheered and danced.
And Serani was so impressed with her, that he’s now got back in touch and asked her to feature on his new song, and treated her family to a day out in London with him.
Videos of the heartwarming exchange at Carnival have been widely shared on social media, with one video earning more than 6.2m views on TikTok at the time of writing.
In the below video shared with The Manc, Serani is seen crouching down to her eye level, before asking the young girl for her name and telling her she is ‘so sweet’.
Lottie then grabs his arm and whispers in his ear that she doesn’t know all the words, to which he responds: “You don’t need to know all of it baby, just sing for the beautiful people of Manchester.”
After a brief hesitation, Lottie, wearing a pink tie-die dress, starts belting out No Games – and the crowd absolutely erupts.
Serani then starts singing the lyric ‘It’s, it’s, it’s Serani’ – but is interrupted by Lottie shouting ‘LOTTIE’, much to the delight of the onlookers.
Once she hits her stride, there’s no stopping the tiny star, who had all of Alexandra Park in the palm of her hand.
Thousands of people have shared their love for the adorable moment on social media.
Comments have included ‘GET IT LOTTIEEEEEE’ and ‘LOTTIE MASH UP DI PLACE’.
Another person wrote: “The way her confidence shot up when everyone hyper her.”
Someone else said: “Wow the way I felt that energy thru the phone like POW.”
One user commented: “Love the crowd hyping up the boss girl! She’s got fantastic taste in music too!”
Serani has since said: “She is the star, she just took over the stage, she’s so sweet.
“I never thought the video would get so big but the views just kept growing and growing.”
Featured image: Supplied
You can rave inside the empty Grade-II listed Victoria Baths in Manchester this autumn
Ever wondered what it’s like to dance the night away inside an empty swimming pool?
Well, there’s no need to wonder any longer, as Manchester‘s music lovers are invited to become a part of the city’s partying history later this year when the iconic Grade-II listed Victoria Baths hosts three day raves that are set to be headlined by some world-renowned DJs and famous names on the house, electronic, and techno music scene.
The Victoria Baths takeover comes as JBM Music – the team behind popular city centre venue, Joshua Brooks – launch a new series of ‘Manchester 360’ events this November.
Already gearing up to be a “weekender like no other”, the historic Victoria Baths – which dates back to 1906 – will be kitted-out with an immersive 360° sound system and killer light shows that will fill the venue’s stunning architecture with an atmosphere it’s never seen before.
Victoria Baths was once described as “a water palace” and called “the most splendid bathing institution in the country” – but it’s soon set to take on a whole new life as bathing will turn into raving on the first weekend in November, with three talented DJs in the international electronic scene lined-up across the three days of parties.
Event organisers are promising to take partiers to “another realm”.
First up is local hero Darius Syrossian, who is no stranger to playing packed out and sweaty dance floors with his edgy and straight-up house sound, and he’ll then be followed by another UK legend Lee Burridge – the man behind ‘All Day I Dream’, with his own zoned-out and hypnotic take on house.
Then last but not least, French titan Dimitri From Paris will cook up dazzling disco and filter house sounds that are packed with soul and colour.
Manchester 360º: Weekend Takeover is coming to Victoria Baths on Friday 4, Saturday 5, and Sunday 6 November 2022, and you can now join the waitlist to get exclusive ticket access before they are released to the wider public next week.
You can find out more and join the waitlist for tickets here.