2020 obviously looked a little different to what we’re used to. For musicians, everything pretty much ground to a halt. No touring. No festivals. No gigs. No writing in new studios with new people. Not as much travelling around. Not as much promo. Not as much... anything at all!
With the vaccine being rolled out, there are hopes that (late) 2021 might bring some fresh energy. Who knows, maybe at some point we’ll actually get to cram our bodies into a windowless sweaty basement venue and watch live music again, with our eyes, not through a screen.
Until then, we asked a bunch of bands and artists what their hopes and dreams are for the year ahead.
“Next year, we hope to see continuing momentum behind grassroots movements pushing for racial, social and economic equity here in the US (Black Lives Matter, defund the police, universal healthcare, universal basic income, the list could go on forever).
“We hope to safely – once vaccinated – eat out at restaurants and see our friends and play shows and release music and hug our family members. We hope that those who have lost their jobs, businesses and livelihoods are lifted up and strengthened by their communities. We want to live safe, peaceful lives... which seems like a tall order at this point... but that is our wish.”
“As a primarily live band, a major part of our process as a creative unit is about holding a direct conversation and connection with our followers through the vibes at a gig, IRL, sweating together, rocking together, feeling that sense of solidarity and transcendence that music shared in the physical can summon. We are keeping our fingers crossed so tight that the vaccines will pull us all through to a safer world in 2021 and live music culture will rise from the ashes, once again bringing us all together in sweet, sweet music. It will be absolute euphoria.”
“It would have 730 days in the year, and each day would be 48 hours long. Travel would be free (anywhere) and everything is automatically first class. The air would smell like fresh mint leaves!”
“I hope to see mushrooms rise through the concrete cracks of the city.”
“Hopefully next year we’ll be able to continue being creative and record more music. I’d like to spend more time with my family and friends. I’d like to keep painting and keep having time to do the things I love that I’ve been able to find time for this year.”
“I hope 2021 is the year we can kiss our friends on the mouth, listen to 15 end-of-the-virus albums a week and swim in the pool at the leisure centre again. I hope those who’ve worked on the frontline amid this chaos get a better year than this one. And I hope that handshaking stays dead forever.”
“I suppose it would look a little more busy and colourful. Pints in the pub, smiles, tangible musical experiences, legal kisses and hugs! That kind of stuff. Hopefully new good music emerges, and maybe we can tour 925, our debut album, and everyone can come and enjoy it post-vaccine. I guess mainly we’re just hoping the world returns to normal, and we can all enjoy real life experiences again.”
“If 2021 could look like anything, it would be a Black woman. Kind hearted and warm, with enough vim and fire to keep me aligned with my path. I want 2021 – strong, beautiful and overflowing with love – to hold me and tell me it’s all gonna be OK, like my mother would after a bad day at school.”
“Considering the whirl of unexpected ups and downs, there’s nothing out of the question for 2021. What something could be is not about what we want it to be, or how we expect it to be, but what we feel towards it as a concept. And to me, I like the open ended fantasy of ‘could’. This past year taught me to revel in the wonder of uncertainty, as I watched all my plans crumble in front of me. And beautifully new, more interesting plans – in all their spontaneity – unfold. Launching a career in a pandemic cannot be planned. 2021 is a continuation.”
“It's been a busy year touring for us, so we're hoping for less of that next year. We've also been going out a bit too much, so hoping to spend a bit more time at home. Our financial situation has been extremely stable this year, so hoping that things get a bit riskier next year. We've also spent far too much time going to gigs and meeting new people, so we're hoping to spend a bit more time being low key with each other. That's it really. Fingers crossed!”
“Generally feeling quite sorry for 2021... there's a lot riding on it and it has a lot of slack to pick up for 2020. It could already do with a break, tbh. However, in the spirit of manifesting, we would like 2021 to save and bring back the live music industry, allow us to order a drink at the bar, sort out the state of care homes so we can visit our grandmas, Brexit to have been a bad dream and a couple of Grammy noms for our second and best album yet. Good luck 2021 xxx.”