Lockdown is ending! This means that gigs are on the rise again and I have been to my first gig in person in what feels like years, although it might actually be only about 8 months. I went to see one of the bands I have told you about, The Sweetchunks Band. It was a very surreal experience. Having arrived early to find my seat, I found there was an extremely strict opening time leaving me waiting outside with a slowly growing group of fans. The result was a later start than expected, I was thinking the time on the ticket was the start time but that was in fact the opening time for the venue.

As doors opened the excitement was palpable. Even the slow break up of the crowd as we were led to our seats could not dampen the atmosphere. However, I found the social distance precautions a little saddening. When I have been to shows on my own pre lockdown, I was able to sit near fellow fans and chatter away to them, making my way round the venue and making connections with as many people as possible. This time I was led to my seat and kept quite separate from other spectators, as we all had our own little bubble and could not interact outside that. This made me feel a little lonely as I was on my own and cut off from the others in the audience.

However, once the band started playing, all my concerns and melancholy faded away. The band was just as excited to be playing in front of an audience as we were to be there watching. Their energy put over sugared toddlers to shame. They bounced, danced, climbed on the audience and all but cried in joy, taking the atmosphere from really excited to truly electric. I felt so happy to be out and watching them, just like normal life was coming back. Whilst at the moment I might not be able to interact with my fellow audience members, the joy of seeing bands so excited and energized makes the experience so fulfilling. I am looking forward to things opening up and becoming more normal but I am still enjoying what we have started to have now.

Words: Steph Warren

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