Live music is slowly tiptoeing back. On four Saturdays starting from mid-October, the Dome will allow 250 ticket holders to watch local bands play in its concert hall, albeit with enhanced measures in place and social distancing.
Few might have expected to be overjoyed at the idea of keeping to cabaret-style seating while watching bands as mosh-inducing as the excellent Ditz – playing on October 24th and presented by The Hope & Ruin, one of the local venues contributing to the programme – but the return of gigs in any form is a relief, not least to the acts and venues.
Like Ditz, The Bar Stool Preachers probably never imagined their high-octane pop-punk entertaining tables rather than throngs, and they’re part of the opening show the previous week, which includes new music made in lockdown from multi-instrumentalist Yumi And The Weather, as well as the wondrous-sounding Bakk Lamp Fall, who are rooted in Senegalese musical traditions and feature a West African percussion section.
The partners in the shows, who include many of the venues we’re all missing like a downpour in a drought, range from the Attenborough Centre to the Albert. “This is what happens when a city comes together in a crisis,” they said in a collective statement announcing the gigs.
“A unified force, pulling each other forward towards awareness and survival. It is the joining of Brighton’s live music venues under the beacon that is Brighton Dome. We want these events to represent hope and resilience and to reignite our cherished music industry for the venues, the staff and freelancers, as well as the up-and-coming artists, musicians, bands, the gig-goers and music lovers.”
The perilous state of the local and national live music sector has been well-documented in recent weeks, including the £112 million generated annually for the local economy by the scene and the struggle most venues will face to operate as sustainable businesses under the current government guidelines.
“These events will be our first step towards bringing live performances back in a safe format,” said Andrew Comben, the Dome’s Chief Executive. “We hope audiences will feel confident and excited about returning to one of the city’s most treasured spaces.”
The Dome has been certified as a place with enhanced measures in place to keep people safe, and the musicians and organisations taking part will receive funds through ticket sales and donations. Live streaming is also available of the shows.
October 17th: Immersion, Bakk Lamp Fall, Yumi And The Weather, The Bar Stool Preachers
October 24th: DITZ, LibraLibra, Lambrini Girls, Wife Swap USA
October 31st: Demob Happy, Sick Joy, Projector, CLT DRP
November 7th: Dakka Skanks, Super Dupes, Normanton Street, AFLO
Live is Alive! tickets go on sale at 10am, Thursday 1st October 2020
Available from Brighton Dome’s website, £15/£10 (£3 livestream)