Live music returned to Scotland last week with a pair of quite different gigs taking place in the Glasgow area.
On Sunday October 4th Last Night From Glasgow organised for Lola in Slacks, The Bluebells, and Mark W Georgsson to play outdoors, but under cover, at SWG3 in Glasgow.
Social distancing was achieved by tables for six being restricted to one household or bubble – selling at £60, this meant that three acts, including an acoustic set from chart stars The Bluebells, could be had for a tenner a head.
Record label head Ian Smith said: “If the worst comes to the worst and we face another period of lockdown at least we have a blueprint that will serve us well in future months.”
And the following Sunday, October 11th, a show took place at Bishopbriggs School of Music, where a few dozen ticket holders attended a drive-in event featuring Katee Kross and Raintown, who performed sets for around 50 people who remained in their vehicles, with the live sound transmitted to their radios.
With social distancing in place, the venue adopted a one-way system for using the toilets, allowing the event to “beat COVID”.
Kross said: “It’s been a long and dark few months, but live music is finally back in Scotland.
“I can’t quite put into words just how it feels to have been singing in front of an audience again. Gigs are nothing without them and we hope they all enjoyed the experience as much as we did.
“It might not be the same as a regular indoor show, but it sure beats playing to a computer screen – no doubt about it.
“I don’t think any of us have looked forward to a performance more than that before; it was just wonderful to be playing once again.
“I really just want to thank everyone who came along and gave us their support and everyone who worked so hard to put the event on.
“It was a landmark show for us all and it was so special to be a part of it. Here’s to many more.”
Although not the first live event of the summer (among other gigs, Rick Redbeard performed an open-air gig in Arbroath in mid-September) the Bishopbriggs show may be the first to have successfully adopted the drive-in system, contrasting with the larger nationwide shows which were abandoned earlier this year.
The restricted attendance also meant that the show fell far below the minimum 200 capacity for licensing purposes.
Peter O’Neill, one of the organisers behind the event, added: “Make no mistake, this gig was hugely important for the arts community; we’ve shown that it can be done, and done safely.
“Let no one be under any illusions about how much joy a concert can bring; we were there, and we saw first-hand how much it means to folk.
“Above all else, we’ve shown there is a way forward. We can have live events – safe and secure live events – despite everything that’s going on around us.”
Raintown’s Paul Bain added: “We are all part of history now: the performers, the crew and audience. We were there when live music returned.
“It’s such a great feeling to be performing again and to see people enjoying live music with us and with each other.
“I hope that other artists across the country will take note and we can witness a late flurry of live events to round-off a fairly dismal 2020.
“We’ve all been through so much. Artists, crews and promoters have had to adjust and innovate. Let’s hope this is the first of many drive-in gigs to take place in Bishopbriggs.”