Central London was swamped with protests this weekend, the loudest of which being the “Save Our Scene” march, an open-air rave held in support of the UK’s music scene. Thousands descended on the starting point outside BBC Broadcasting House, and sound systems and DJ rigs accompanied the march the whole way up to Parliament Square.
The live music industry has been one of the hardest hit by coronavirus, with venues closed since the first lockdown in March of 2020. Boris Johnson has said he hopes to remove the remaining restrictions on clubs and music venues from the 19th of July, but organisers of the march called for an immediate end to the controls, saying the UK government has not done nearly enough to help the music industry over the course of the pandemic.
While organisers encouraged attendees to wear masks, photos and videos show a largely mask-less crowd – and critics online argued that, given the perceived government disinterest in helping the industry, this perhaps wasn’t the best way of getting them onside. Of course, for many, the event was less political protest and more an opportunity to dance amongst a crowd for the first time in 15 months.
Photographer Aiyush Pachnanda was there to capture the march.