Author Archives: Megan Milstead

Art exhibition to support struggling musicians

Helium London and Pavement Licker are hosting a charity exhibition and auction for the next three weeks in London.

‘Pressing Matters’ will showcase contemporary artwork created using test pressing vinyl. The exhibition will run until May 29 with free admission at the Matches Fashion store:

Over 20 musicians have donated rare pieces for the occasion. The line-up includes contributions from the likes of Bicep, Charlie XCX, The Rolling Stones and more.

There will also be a panel discussion in line with Mental Health Awareness Week. The artists and musicians will take part in a number of talks from May 10 to 16 at the same location.

The artwork will be auctioned on Helium London’s website from May 24 to 29.

Music Support is an organisation that helps people in the UK music industry who are struggling with mental health and addiction. The charity offers helplines, training and safe hubs at festivals.

The live music industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. With concert and club venues shut for over a year, it has cost over 170,000 jobs, according to The Guardian. 

CEO and founder of Helium London, Jennifer McCormick says: “[The exhibition] has brought together phenomenal talent without prejudice and forged new creative relationships, all united in breaking down barriers surrounding addiction and mental health.”

If you are struggling with mental health, call Music Support’s helpline on 0800 030 6789 or email helpline@musicsupport.org  

Off-licence crawls: The new way to socialise

Alcohol consumption has risen by 22% due to lockdown restrictions, according to Drinkaware.

As social points like bars and restaurants remain shut, people have been turning to alcohol as something to do and a way to cope with stress.

‘Off-licence crawls’ have become popular on the social media platform, TikTok. The trend involves walking to multiple shops to buy alcohol, and then drinking on the go.

At the time of filming, lockdown rules allowed the public to go on a walk with one person outside of their household. Young people have used ‘off-licence crawls’ as a new way to socialise whilst indoor contact remains off-limits.

Watch the video to find out more:

Graphic created using information from Drinkaware

Lifting lockdown: How are pubs preparing to re-open?

Pub gardens are set to re-open on April 12 under new lockdown guidelines. Unlike last time, there will be no food obligation or curfew.

It has been five months since hospitality businesses were allowed to operate. Some of them have used the spare time as an opportunity to make some upgrades.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Staff members at The Leather Bottle in Hertfordshire are now preparing to re-open. They’re adding outside heaters, umbrellas and shelters to make outdoor drinking more comfortable for guests.

Manager, Nicki Dennison feels that the government have done a “poor” job handling the pandemic. “I have literally worked for four months out of this last year. I’ve really had my dark days and sometimes I wonder if I am ever going to open again.”

Despite the low temperatures in April, sales are expected to boom on the opening week. Some venues were even taking bookings back in February – two months in advance.

Eager pub-goers have taken to Twitter to share their excitement for the big day, after months of limited social contact:

“People are dying to go out”, says Maurizio Ferraiuolo, Managing Director at Experts in Hospitality. “[Businesses] are getting ready to have extra manpower, especially in the first month with spring and summer coming.”

Mr Ferraiuolo predicts that the industry will bounce back. “Cheaper” properties and “better” deals have resulted in a large number of newcomers arriving in the market.

Pub chain, J D Wetherspoon taking advantage of it too. The Guardian revealed that they are looking to buy more property due to a drop in prices caused by the pandemic.  

It may be legal to go out for a pint – but will the public feel safe doing so? A poll by The Royal Society for Public Health revealed that just 26% of the public did last year.

To minimise the spread of Covid-19, social distancing will remain in place with a strict table service policy. This means that customers will remain seated at all times, and the rule of six will also apply.

Graphic created using information from GOV.UK

For some people, the return of hospitality causes them to feel social anxiety. According to our Instagram poll, 15% of people said they felt worried about it, whilst the remaining 85% were excited. 

“Although it will be lovely to see friends and family again, I feel like there will be more pressure to go out when you might not want to”, says Linda Farrell*, 40 from Hemel Hempstead. “I’ve got quite comfortable staying in my own space, so it will be really hard to adjust to.”  

Twitter users have also shared their concerns over things going back to normal: 

Grammys 2021: Top 5 looks from the red carpet

Awards season is finally here. With the Golden Globes just passed, and the Oscars and Emmys coming up – we’ve got a lot to look forward to.

The 63rd Grammy Awards kicked off on March 14 at the Staples Centre in California. 

In true awards ceremony style – the event wasn’t short of drama. Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘WAP’ performance received 80 complaints from viewers, who called it “pornographic”, according to NME. Whilst Lizzo slipped out a swear word whilst presenting an award.

Everyone knows that the best part is the celebrity outfits – nothing beats the red carpet glamour. From Dua Lipa’s glittered gown to Chloe Bailey’s golden get-up – we’ve rounded up the best looks of the night: 

Harry Styles turned heads in a mint-green feather bower. The faux accessory was paired over a black leather Gucci suit. He received Best Pop Solo Performance for ‘Watermelon Sugar’. 

Dua Lipa stepped out in a shimmering Versace number that featured a sequin butterfly torso. The pink dress was teamed with square toe heels and purple glitter eyeshadow. The singer was awarded Best Pop Vocal Album for Future Nostalgia. 

Lizzo stunned in a pastel green dress with ruched detailing. The ‘Good as Hell’ singer accessorised the Balmain look with diamond jewellery from Bulgari. 

Chloe Bailey sported a golden Louis Vuitton gown that featured a thigh-high split and delicate spaghetti straps. To complete the look – the star wore sheer elbow-length gloves and platform boots. 

Jhené Aiko styled a baby pink two-piece by Monsoori with pearl jewellery. The tulle layered skirt had a five-foot-long train and ruffled detailing at the front. The R’n’B singer was nominated for Best Album.

Featured image credit: Pixabay