Just as the world begins to return to normality, the pandemic pulls the rug from under us. After the euphoria of summer, the live music industry is suffering blows reminiscent of March 2020 as omicron cancels swathes of shows and venues once again sit empty. But — as this end of year special endeavours to highlight — there are many reasons to be hopeful as we look forward into 2022.
Despite the ongoing impacts of COVID and Brexit, the talent and creativity that exists within British music remains unrivalled, the industry-wide effort to become more inclusive is showing no signs of slowing and performers are taking the lead in confronting the climate crisis.
Music has been a lifeline throughout this testing period, and these are some of the defining moments that have impacted the lives of those creating it in 2021.
Photo credit: Adama Jalloh