The Sidney Meyer Music Bowl gets loud | Day of the Dead celebrations come alive | Nothing but good vibes

The Sidney Myer Music Bowl gets loud

A long lockdown has finally come to an end in Victoria, Australia and no time was wasted to get back to the live music scene. The state has emerged from the longest lockdown globally, a total of 262 days (nearly 9 months), after reaching its target of vaccinating over 70% of its population 16 years and older who are eligible to receive the vaccination.

Saturday marked the return of live music in the state and performers, along with many keen concert goers, rejoiced. “Play On Victoria” was Melbourne’s first major concert post lockdown and entertained around 4,000 fans. Mask rules were relaxed just a day prior to the big event and double vaccinated fans packed into the venue, standing shoulder to shoulder just like old times. Performers were just as stoked as the attendees to be there and get back to doing what they love best in front of a live audience.

Music equipment on stage

The box office sold out tickets for the ‘Covid-safe Test Event’ concert in a matter of hours last week - a testament to the demand of live music for those who have been deprived of it for so long. Its intention? To showcase that live events can once again take place safely. The lineup consisted of all homegrown acts including Grace Cummings, Baker Boy and King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, as international acts are still unable to tour to the land down under.

Crowds had been banned from gathering for nearly a year so it was quite an emotional night for everyone, especially the artists who were finally able to take the stage again following months of canceled performances. To no surprise, the music-obsessed city was ecstatic to see music return, as the headliner Baker Boy put it, “tonight’s show reminds us that we’re back.”  

Day of the dead celebrations come alive

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, festivities were back in full swing in Mexico City with one of its biggest parades ever. The holiday, popular in many Latin American countries, is celebrated on November 1 and 2 and is probably most recognized by its colorful skulls, marigold-clad altars and elaborate face paintings.

Day of the Dead skulls

Thousands of locals and tourists gathered in the heart of Mexico city and other towns to celebrate relatives that have departed and honor death as a part of life. Most spectators donned protective masks as they watched the floats and performers, some even keeping their distance. It’s clear that although many were happy to get back to the live celebrations, they were still cautious about being back in crowds.

Despite the country experiencing one of the highest death tolls worldwide due to Covid-19, daily infections have significantly reduced over the last couple of weeks as nearly half the population has been fully vaccinated. The festivities were given the green light this year after cancelling the in-person celebrations in 2020 and going virtual.

Although the street procession is a relatively recent addition (thanks to the 2015 James Bond movie Spectre), the holiday has origins that date back thousands of years. The 2021 event marked the beginning of live events returning to Mexico.

Nothing but good vibes

The 4th annual Houston festival Good Vibes Only went off without a hitch on October 30 in north Houston. The big theme this year revolved around shedding light on mental health and it seemed nothing short of entertaining. The festival organizers partnered with the National Association of Mental Health to bring awareness to the crisis in low-income communities across the city.

Good vibes only sign

As events are starting to roll out more regularly, it was a perfect way to bring a community together for entertainment and education. The festival drew hundreds and held performances by Nigerian star Burna Boy and local artists like Paul Wall and Slim Thug. The event was a way to bring the conversation on mental health to the forefront and help ‘break the stigma in black and brown communities’. The man behind the festival, Wale Adekoya, expressed his passion for this project to continue to educate and entertain the masses and even expand to other cities in the future

Next year, the event will follow suit with many other live entertainment events and shift to going green, running on solar powered renewable energy. The festival certainly lives up to the name it bears and offers nothing but Good Vibes.