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Grooves: Digital Carnival; Back to Our Roots; Tribes; Divine Comedy

27 August, 2020 — By Róisín Gadelrab

The Rolling Stones. Photo: Rankin

ONE thing this virus has forced is a new reliance on innovation and technology to try and help us continue to take part in the events we are accustomed to. There have been mixed reports of how live streamed gigs have worked, some have been welcomed, others have admitted they missed the spark, but the music industry continues to try and find ways to work that will help bands, fans, venues and all those people who work so hard to put these performances together. For the first time in more than 50 years, Notting Hill Carnival is not taking place in its usual way – the colourful parades, infectious soca beats and sound systems to die for will be absent from the streets. But this virus will never squash carnival’s spirit. Sign up for free passes at Digital Carnival (August 29-31) at https://nhcarnival.org/ to access four dedicated streamed channels – culture, parade, soundsystems and main stage.

• Congratulations to the venues who have managed to secure some extremely belated government funding to help them survive while the current measures restrict live music shows. Among those who have received funding from this first wave are The Dublin Castle, which opened this week, Jazz Cafe, Camden Assembly and The Fiddlers Elbow. Hopefully it won’t be too long before a second stream of funding is announced for those who missed out. In the meantime, independent efforts continue to raise these much-needed funds. Passport: Back to Our Roots, a new campaign to raise money for grassroots music venues at risk of closure, has announced that Elbow, Everything Everything, Public Service Broadcasting and The Slow Readers Club will be the first artists to playing one-off, intimate shows at grassroots music venues on dates to be confirmed, when it is safe to perform with no social distancing. Entry, for a £5 minimum donation to the campaign, is by prize draw via crowdfunder.co.uk/passport-back-to-our-roots More gigs will be announced soon.

• Camden band Tribes’ much-awaited December reunion gigs – to mark the 10th anniversary of debut album Baby seven years after the split, have been postponed to next year (April 23 and 24).

• The Rolling Stones’ flagship store opens in Carnaby Street on September 9. Expect exclusive merch, and fashion under the RS No. 9 Carnaby brand.

• Keep an eye on Barbican’s listings following the announcement that the venue plans to livestream concerts from the Barbican Hall. In the meantime, next month’s Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time – Thirty Years of The Divine Comedy, a celebration of the band’s anniversary, has been rescheduled to Sept 1-5, 2021.

• The Design Museum’s exploration of electronic music is now open. Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers runs to February 14, 2021.

• If you still haven’t had your fill of online festivals, Exit Festival’s Life Stream (Sept 3-6), will be streamed at www.exitfest.org, bringing together a long list of global and regional artists with exclusive performances aimed at drawing attention to a project implemented by EXIT in collaboration with the UN World Food Program, the world’s largest humanitarian organisation. Leading artists of the global electronic scene will perform live behind the decks, from a line-up including Charlotte de Witte, Adam Beyer and Ben Klock, and digitally, via a special screen, Carl Cox, Nina Kraviz and Paul Van Dyk. Visit the website for the full list of performers.

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