Glamour, glitz, and disco dancing – plus a bit of kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll – ensured that the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) extravaganza was back with a massive bang this year, making up for its absence in 2020 – thwarted by the pandemic like so many other shows! The Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, The Netherlands was the venue for a fantastic production bursting with creative visuality, technical excellence and musical talent – both on and off the stage!
The 2021 Sanremo Music Festival was staged at Teatro Ariston in Sanremo, Liguria, Italy, and apart from being one of the country’s biggest and best-known song competitions and media events, also chose the country’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. It was organized and broadcast by RAI and lit by director of photography (DOP) Mario Catapano.
Enthusiasm for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest is bursting every disco bubble this year, especially in the wake of last year’s first ever cancellation due to – we all know what – as competing countries ramp up the glorious glitz, glamour, drama and pop moments with gusto!
At the end of 2020, Spanish singer Mónica Naranjo – a powerful voice on the Spanish and Latin music scenes – launched a special re-issue of her third studio album Minage originally released in 2000, which paid tribute to Italian artist Mina. Fast forward 20 years and Puro Minage features a full complement of the exact content that Naranjo had wanted to include in the project from the start. Marking the occasion, she played a special concert in front of a live audience – with Covid rules in place – at the Palau de Les Arts, Valencia, Spain.
The Beacon Jams were a hugely successful 8-week ‘virtual residency’ presented by guitarist and singer-songwriter Trey Anastasio (AKA lead singer of Phish) and MSG Entertainment in New York City’s iconic Beacon Theatre.
The challenges of producing entertainment in the pandemic has seen some incredible imagination and resourcefulness from the industry in creating Covid-safe working environments so at least some sectors have been able to keep working, one of which is television.
Ten thousand lucky music fans in New Zealand were delighted to be able to kick off their 2020-21 summer festival season with the Downtown Shakedown event in Wellington where a lively and diverse line-up included dub-tastic Fat Freddy’s Drop and rising star singer-songwriter BENEE who joined popular favourites L.A.B., Ladi6, Sola Rosa and Sunshine Sound System to welcome everyone to Waitangi Park.
Shoreline City Church (SCC) held a fully social distanced and masked Covid-safe Christmas Eve service and celebration at the American Airlines Center (AAC) in Dallas which featured a diversity of performances by multiple artists and a flurry of different vocalists from the church, all backed by their highly talented house band.
The arid, exquisitely cinematic beauty of the Arizona desert and the paranormal charm of the Arcosanti community united for the staging of “Existential Reckoning”, an ambitious and extraordinary site-specific streamed concert of the new album by ‘supergroup’ Puscifer initiated by Maynard James Keenan.
Exhibition London is a new multipurpose live music and events venue in White City, West London initiated and operated by Broadwick Live and Venue Lab, offering another stunning, uniquely interesting, highly adaptable – 1400 seated to 2800 standing capacity – historic industrial space in their portfolio. It is ideal for conferences, exhibitions, gala dinners, awards presentations, location filming and live music events.
Popular UK rockers Nothing But Thieves recently played a sizzling hot series of ‘Live from The Warehouse’ pay-per-view live stream concerts, designed by Warren Hutchison and directed by Tim Perrett, that traversed three time zones – USA, UK and Australia / Asia Pacific – having just dropped new single ‘Impossible’ and announcing a major UK, Ireland and European tour for autumn 2021.
Germany has been noticeably proactive in its quest to stage Covid-compliant live shows and events to attempt to get some of the industry moving again and people used to going out and about. One of these was the Berlin Waldbühne “Back to Live” Concerts, a socially distanced event concept running throughout September at the city’s famous open-air venue organised by promoter Semmel Concerts Entertainment GmbH.
German Unity Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit) is an annual celebration held on October 3rd, marking the anniversary of the nation's unification in 1990, when the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic became one single, federal Germany.
Signalling the start of the new NFL season, The Killers staged a special, highly symbolic one-off performance of their anthemic and hugely popular “Mr Brightside” on the rooftop of Caesar’s Palace … for the Las Vegas Raiders who have just moved into the newly completed Allegiant Stadium.
Peachy Playhouse, a new socially distanced entertainment concept developed to deliver safe live performances – comedy, music, children’s shows, etc – during the coronavirus pandemic, closed its summer season at Loseley Park, Guildford, Surrey, UK on a high note.
The first live arena concert in the world … since coronavirus silently spread global mayhem, was headlined by sizzling hot rising-stars L.A.B. at Auckland’s Spark Arena, New Zealand, a momentous occasion offering the artists, their management, crew and fans a joyous and heartfelt night where they could once again all embrace the emotions, experience and adrenaline rush of live performance!
There is absolutely no lack of creativity or ideas when it comes to artists performing in the world of Covid-19 lockdowns and other restrictions …
Smiles and high spirits abounded at the HBF Stadium in Perth, Australia at the country’s first large scale live music event since March!
Colours of Ostrava is usually the largest multi-genre live music and performance festival in the Czech Republic and one of the most popular events on the European festival calendar, offering 22 stages of diverse and vibrant entertainment across four days in mid-July. It is staged in the stunning raw industrial environment of the former Dolní Vitkovice (DOV) steelworks – now tastefully reimagined as an important cultural and heritage centre – near Ostrava in the north-east of the country.
Popular contemporary crossover Christian singer / songwriter Lauren Daigle completed just 10 dates of the US leg that kicked off her 2020 World tour supporting her Grammy-winning third studio album, Look Up Child … when the live music and performance industry promptly shut down mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm for the 2020 final of singing competition The Voice Ukraine, which was broadcast live from the Kyiv studios of TV channel 1+1, produced by Volodymyr Zavaduyk, directed by Tri.Direction and lit by Eugene Kostyra, also working closely with DoP Sergey Petrov.
A star-studded line of music stars and artists performed during a protest concert in Charles Clore Park, Tel Aviv, titled “Behind The Scenes: An Assembly of Solidarity” to draw attention to the plight of freelancers, backstage technicians and all the zero-hours contract workers in the Israeli event industry whose livelihoods have been decimated as the music and live event industry has been paused in the fight to control Covid-19.
All rights reserved. Created by Appio