As the effects of COVID19 are still being felt on our local and national music scenes, one international festival sees bands from Birmingham hitting the (virtual) stage to music fans on the other side of the globe.
With social distancing measures halting many live music events and bringing in stricter measures for smaller events, it has made performing and touring internationally altogether impossible for artists. However, the Ekbrum music sessions hope to provide an alternative to that problem.
The Ekbrum Music Session, which took place on October 28th, brought together talented musicians from Yekaterinburg, Russia, and Birmingham for a three-hour online concert highlighting the diversity of the two cities’ contemporary music scenes. The sessions themselves saw nine talented bands and artists from Birmingham perform alongside six bands and artists from Russia. The sessions were in association with the Different Ever After festival and The Ural Music Night festival and were live streamed by Russian business and education outlet, Theory and Practise; they are subsequently available to watch worldwide on YouTube by searching Ekbrum Music Sessions.
EKBRUM, a combination of the abbreviated names of the two cities, Ekb and Brum, is the name given to a cultural exchange initiative that encourages the two linked cities to explore their differences and similarities in not only music, but art and design. The project began in 2019 when Birmingham artists, Riscas, The Assist and The Twang, flew over to the Russian city of Yekaterinburg to perform at the Ural Music Night festival, a city-wide festival that sees the attendance of over 300,000 music fans. The bands also performed on other dates in the city’s surrounding areas.
The Birmingham artists’ sets for the Ekbrum Music Session were all pre recorded in a full live music setup, following social distancing measures at Birmingham Streams and in venues across the city of Yekaterinburg. This created a safe yet exciting opportunity for artists to record live music in a full concert style setting, as opposed to the bedroom acoustic sessions we've become accustomed to in the height of lockdown measures.
With the live music industry struggling due to the effects of COVID19, this international ‘festival’ allowed musicians and creative industries from across the globe to connect with not only each other, but with other music fans in a time during which we are so disconnected. Through this, the organisers hoped to encourage artists to stay connected during this tough time and to show innovation within the music industry at a time in which we need innovation the most.
Broken Witt Rebels