2020 in music: The year we all stayed home

Is 2020 over yet? 

While we can’t believe the year’s gone so quickly, we’ll be super-glad when its behind us. It’s a year that will go down in history for being, frankly, completely nuts.  We’ve spent so much time shacked up in our homes, locked up away from some of the people and the experiences we love, and we’ve tragically lost too many great humans along the way.  Not a single sector of our economy remains untouched by the Covid-19 pandemic. And for music, well, we’re sure we don’t need to tell you how much the infection has ripped right through the industry. Live tours, globally, have ground to a halt. New releases, delayed or postponed. The myriad of backroom stars that usually support the sector? Many are now unemployed, no longer able to play their role in making music magic.

If through music, we all come together, then for those in music, we must pull together.

The Save Our Stages Act (https://www.saveourstages.com) has received widespread enthusiasm and backing, with over 2m letters of support sent to Congress to date. If passed, it will keep independent venues across the States from closing permanently, so if you’re not one of those already supporting the Act, what’s stopping you? Let’s do this.

For those of us lucky enough to carry on working through the pandemic, as the year closes out, we’ve gotten used to the day-to-day changes the home office has brought.

In the year that video conferencing finally became the de facto means of getting in front of people, we all became that little bit more (/too) familiar with our clients, colleagues, and collaborators’ home lives. Yes, we spent less time with our tunes during the morning commute (down the corridor and through the door to our home office), but our listening habits have still evolved: streams of playlists with ‘Working From Home‘ in the title have rocketed, increasing by a whopping 1,400% since lockdown.

With musicians, like the rest of us, forced to stay indoors for longer than they’d usually entertain, we’re not surprised to see this trigger an explosion of lockdown creativity. And so, despite the mud that 2020 has thrown at us, there have been some awesome releases this year: we’ve seen a burst of creative energy that will continue to spark innovative new music for some time yet.

And so, with masks safely on and not before carefully sanitizing, our team of music aficionados have hand-picked their favorite tracks for Activaire’s 2020 Mixtape. Featuring choice cuts from client programs, alongside personal faves, it’s a trip through 2020’s highlights without any of the nasty reality stuff in-between. You can’t say fairer than that.

Background Music takes the foreground by helping us all cope with our new normal.

As we count the days down until the end of 2020, how will consumers react when a more ‘normal’ life returns in 2021?

Heading back out to stores, hotels, and restaurants, music will play an increasing role in helping folk feel safe, secure, and enthusiastic about their visit. Playing the right background music at the right time gives customers assurance that all is OK; listening to music releases ‘feel-good’ chemicals in the brain, while the phenomenon ‘entrainment’ keeps people synchronized with beats they’re exposed to.

Understanding music psychology and using this to curate the ideal background music for your space, Activaire creates playlists that make your customers feel safe and sound, every time. Want to know more? 

So goodbye 2020, it’s been, um, memorable. But here’s to 2021 and its tantalizing prospect: a return to the safety and freedoms we enjoyed during better times. 

2021. Cannot. Come. Soon. Enough.

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