All nightspots and bars are now extinct...
The year is 2030
The date is Friday 1st November 2030 – it’s a dry autumnal evening and you have just finished work for the 97th day in a row at Amazon’s Warehouse B01927.
After your compulsory full body sanitise, you must check out using the state sponsored ‘Safer-Society’ tracking app and then can begin your journey home.
You walk outside and pass a barely discernible club-night poster with the words, “Tickets sold on Resident Advisor”, marked at the bottom.
You realise the date and feel a tear roll down your cheek. It’s been eleven years since you last danced in a nightclub.
Today is a happy day though, relatively speaking. You have made plans to celebrate your best friend’s birthday and tomorrow have taken one of your five days holiday a year to allow yourself some rest before another 18-hour shift on Sunday.
Meeting in groups of more than four people was banned by lawmakers during the great pandemic of 2020. Despite Covid-19 being cured long ago this was one of many pandemic policies that never got lifted as a ‘precautionary measure’. So tonight, it will just be you, your best friend and the two others from your social bubble.
Loud music and music “characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats” was also purged by Rishi & The Boys back in 2020. All nightspots and bars are therefore extinct, and every musician has fled to Berlin. To help numb this cultureless existence, the entire working and middle classes are now medicated.
You decide to try and score an mp3 player. These are now deemed contraband so you must be extra careful or face a sentence of up to four months in a Tory Party labour camp.
You recently heard of a guy who has an iPod Shuffle with a Gerd Janson podcast on it. You call him using an unregistered payphone…
Unfortunately he recently sold that iPod, but instead offers you one holding Midland’s Essential Mix. A worthy consolation. You agree a price and a place to meet later that evening. You put down the phone and punch the air in delight – this will be the first time you’ve heard dance music in over two years.
After picking up the mp3 you head to your friend’s apartment.
You stick on the mix at a low volume so as not to be caught by a police decibel monitor. “Party on”, you hear your best friend whisper. You look each other tearfully in the eye but let out a smile in acknowledgment of just how shit your life has become.
When the clock strikes 9.45pm you know it’s time to wind it down or you risk being heard. You head home but can’t sleep. You lie awake, tossing and turning, fantasising about Friday nights at Corsica Studios, Saturdays at Giant Steps and Sundays at Phonox. You ask yourself, “how did society become so joyless?”, and, “what could I have done to prevent it happening?”
Friends of GALA,
Forgive us for the Orwellian prophecy – the future of live music is in danger.
No venues or festivals have been allowed to operate at financially viable capacities since March. This has essentially meant either heavily reduced or zero income for everyone who works in events and the live music industry.
There are over 200,000 jobs in the sector at risk and when furlough ends on 31stOctober there will be mass redundancies with people forced to ‘retrain’ and find new careers.
The earliest large-scale events will be allowed back is likely to be in April. Unless the government’s Winter Economy Plan is corrected to include some meaningful targeted support for everyone working in live music – we will face a mass exodus of skilled crew, suppliers and artists.
A cultural void is set to open up and the scale of long-lasting damage this will cause cannot be overstated. We are going to be due an almighty level of partying next summer – how heartbreaking will it be if half the events can’t happen because most workers have left the sector and many of our favourite venues have closed?
This is the harsh reality the live music industry is now facing and we need to make our voices heard to try and protect it. Please lend the arts your support and write to your local MP + sign this petition.