“Let the Music Play”: Why I Miss Live Gigs in Sheffield

Words: Laura Mills

March was such a harrowing time for anyone in the entertainment industry, having to shut our venues and start those long months in silence, just trying to keep afloat. I had some trouble trying to define everything I missed about live music, but with help from my friends I was reminded exactly what was important about this great scene we once took for granted and improve my betting knowledge.

The atmosphere at a gig is something like no other. In my opinion, I believe it’s the best feeling in the world. I’ve noticed over the past 18 months that at festivals I always discover an artist I’d never even listened to beforehand; I’ve also fallen in love with so many support bands and gone ahead to support them on their own route of success. Another massive thing I’ve become aware of, and others possibly feel this too, is that I generally enjoy an artist’s music even more after seeing them live; you may discover songs that haven’t been released yet, you also get to see their stage presence and almost get to know person behind the music too.

If I could bottle and sell that feeling when the artist first steps on stage and launches into that first track on the setlist, I’d be extremely wealthy. However, to me and so many others, it’s much more than that, the moments that aren’t even captured. It’s the sense of connection between strangers all united by their love of music, jumping on your mates’ shoulders to get the best view, getting covered head to toe in Carlsberg, that tension just before everybody runs into the mosh pit (who even cares if you’re about to get knocked flying), and I would say my favourite part: singing your heart out arm in arm with not only familiar faces, but strangers too.

It’s not just a case of missing these moments but also recognising exactly why live music is so integral to cities like Sheffield. Our Steel City, a great place of musical heritage. We have a number of amazing bands and artists from here including Arctic Monkeys, Pulp and BMTH just to name a few. We also have a handful of venues such as the legendary Leadmill, Fly DSA Arena and O2 Academy. Some of the biggest selling artists in the world have graced our stages. All this combined makes our city so special and without live music, we lose some of what makes Sheffield the city it is.

After this year I vow to never moan about the bar queues or the expensive drink prices again. I also vow to make sure whenever the next gig I get to attend is, I immerse myself in every moment of the show and will be sure to appreciate it just that bit more. I hope with my whole heart that we can get back to some kind of normality soon, be relieved from this silence and let the music play.

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