With lockdown restrictions easing up in the UK from next week and the weather warming up, we're starting to think about all the things we want to do with our newfound freedom, this summer and beyond. We've curated a list of ten great places, events and gigs for you to go to, both in person and online (just in case) in 2021.
1. Local Gig Venues
2. Handel & Hendrix in London
Museums and galleries in the UK can open to the public from May 17th, and one of the first places on our list to go see is the Handel & Hendrix Museum in Mayfair, London. Located at 25 Brook Street, the house was home to both composer George Frideric Handel and of course the great Jimi Hendrix in 1968-1969. Oozing with music history, the Hendrix Flat has been fully restored to his eccentric tastes. Hendrix told his girlfriend Kathy that this was his "first real home of my own". You can book your tickets to see the house this summer here, but if you're unable to make it in person, you can also do a full 3D 360° virtual tour on the site too. V cool.
3. Neighbourhood Weekender Warrington
With many festivals cancelled this year, Neighbourhood Weekender has hedged their bets and rescheduled for later in the year for all of us festival lovers. Now taking place 3rd-5th September 2021, we're holding out for another late summer heatwave on this one. Featuring acts including Gerry Cinnamon, Catfish And The Bottlemen, Miles Kane and Sundara Karma, it's gonna be a good one. You can still grab a ticket online if you fancy it.
4. Hacienda Classical
Hacienda Classical has returned for 2021, touring the UK from August through to November from Blackpool to Glasgow. The unique show features "orchestral renditions of much loved classic club records from The Hacienda’s heritage" featuring Graeme Park, Manchester Camerata and guests. The night is almost sold out for Manchester's Castlefield Bowl this September, so grab your tickets quick.
5. Linda McCartney's Photography Exhibit at The V&A
London's Victoria & Albert museum has a vast collection of photography, and in 2018 Sir Paul donated 63 of his late wife Linda's images for exhibition. These include original unseen Polaroids of the McCartney family as well as portraits of music icons including Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones and (obviously) The Beatles. Entry to the gallery is free and should reopen in May according to lockdown easing, but if you would like to view the collection from home instead, you can see some previews on the V&A site now.
6. Reading & Leeds Festival 2021
It's official, Reading & Leeds Fest is going ahead this summer on the 27th-29th August, with Liam Gallagher kicking off as Friday's headliner at Leeds and Stormzy at Reading. For the full lineup, click here. The festival is sadly sold out, if you haven't bought your tickets yet, but you can still stream it on BBC iPlayer from the comfort of your sofa.
7. Brighton Mod Weekender
Taking place on the weekend of the 26th-30th August, the New Untouchables host a Mod meet-up every summer in Brighton since 2004, and this year is no different. The event features drinking, dancing, a scooter competition and of course a ride out. The daytime sessions are free and family friendly, with DJ’s and a market selling records, vintage and bespoke clothes, art and classic memorabilia. Find out more info and get your tickets here.
8. Online Festival Streams
Sadly for festival lovers, many of the big festivals have been cancelled due to ongoing coronavirus fears this summer, including Glasto. However, jumping on the tech train, some events are holding online streams for a small fee, featuring what would have been the headline artists, for anyone everywhere to log on and enjoy. You can attend Live at Worthy Farm this May for £20.00 a pop or Radio 1's Big Weekend free on iPlayer.
9. Patti Smith's Poetry & Music at The Royal Albert Hall
Renowned poet, writer and songstress Patti Smith will be returning to London this October with her band for a night of literary and musical excess with pieces dating from 1970 to 2021. She is a four time grammy nominee, with 11 studio albums and multiple best selling books, so it is sure to be an incredible night. Limited tickets are still available online now.
10. New Order's Heaton Park Homecoming Show
As a brand based in Manchester, we're looking forward to New Order's first hometown show in over 4 years. They will play at Heaton Park this September, supported by Hot Chip and Working Men's Club. The band have said that: “The connection between ourselves and Manchester has played a pivotal role in who we are as a band. We have countless memories from across the city, from our early days starting out, and beyond. We promise to bring a celebration like no other to Heaton Park in 2021, and we can’t wait to see everyone come together for a night we’ll never forget”. We can't wait either. Tickets are on sale here.