Something for the Weekend: Virtual launches, music festivals and feelgood films
- Arusa Qureshi
- 30 April 2020
Your lockdown entertainment for the weekend includes the Beltane Online Fire Festival, Tectonics and Stag & Dagger
Another week of lockdown, another weekend at home and for many of us, boredom is starting to set in, if it hasn't already. We might not be able to see each other at the moment or head to our favourite annual events, but many organisers have taken note of our collective apathy and in an attempt to help, have moved all or part of their events online. So grab your pals (virtually) and take part in some of the below scheduled fun this weekend.
Originally due to take place this weekend, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra's annual new music festival Tectonics was sadly postponed to 2021. But instead, they've announced the Tectonics Rewind Weekend, where the BBC SSO will share content from previous years to create a 'virtual festival' on Sat 2 and Sun 3 May. Performances include a set from Oscar-winning composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, Peter Brötzmann and Heather Leigh, Julia Holter and lots more.
Also moving online, the Beltane Online Fire Festival (BOnFire) will take place tonight (Thu 30 Apr) in place of this year's cancelled Beltane Fire Festival. Broadcast across all of Beltane's digital platforms from 7pm, the team will help tell the Beltane story online through video, art, photography, poetry and song.
While Stag & Dagger, Edinburgh's newest multi-venue festival and new music showcase, has been postponed to September, Sneaky Pete's have announced that they will be broadcasting a whole weekend of content in its place. Tune in on Facebook from 3pm–9pm on Sat and Sun to see exclusive live streams and sets from this year's Stag & Dagger acts.
Luminate – Scotland's creative aging organisation – recently launched Luminate@Home, a new programme of short online films demonstrating creative activities that are uploaded every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 2pm on Luminate's Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo. Today, you can make your own marbled crafting paper with visual artist Tracy Gorman and tomorrow, join Lottie Barker for a poetry and movement digital dance class.
The big music news for this weekend is that Bandcamp are once again waiving their fees on Fri 1 May, which makes now the ideal time to buy new music and support your favourites. For tips, have a read of our guide to new releases this week, which includes HeForShe x femme culture Vol. 3, Klein's Frozen and Quelle Chris & Chris Keys' Innocent Country 2.
In another major news, the Music Venue Trust, the charitable organisation which works to protect, secure and improve the UK live music network, has announced #saveourvenues, a new national campaign to save hundreds of grassroots music venues that are at imminent risk of being closed down. Artists will be performing 'at home' gigs in support of their local venues, chosen from a list of venues currently in crisis. Visit saveourvenues.co.uk to find out more about the campaign, to donate and to see a list of shows coming up.
As usual, there are plenty of gigs you can enjoy this weekend from home. The RSNO, who have gone digital with their Friday Night Club, will be streaming Scottish mezzo-soprano Catriona Morison singing excerpts from Bizet's Carmen, with Conductor Laureate Neeme Järvi. Stirling's Tolbooth, meanwhile, is hosting James Yorkston on Saturday at 7.30pm as part of their weekly Tolbooth Saturday Shindig, in support of Tiny Changes. Other highlights for this weekend include The 1975's album listening party for their 2013 debut album (Fri, 6pm); Love from Philly (Fri 1–Sun 3 May), which includes sets from Kurt Vile, G. Love, Man Man, Schoolly D and more; and NTS's Remote Utopia (Sat 2 May), a 24hr radio takeover across two live channels, which brings together musicians, DJs, artists and filmmakers from across the globe to raise funds for the Global Foodbanking Network. Catch the likes of Erykah Badu, JME, Tame Impala, Skrillex, JPEGMAFIA, Four Tet, Weyes Blood and more.
Film & TV
The film and TV gods have continued to answer our prayers by keeping us entertained with weekly new releases that are actually really good. In TV world, you'll find everything from gory gangland drama to funny family feuding and to help you out, we've rounded up our top picks for the week, which include Normal People, Gangs of London and Friday Night Dinner. We've also put together a list of our favourite Amazon Originals, which has The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Good Omens and Transparent, among others on there.
For film picks, check out our weekly feature on the best new films to stream. This week's choices include Extraction, Birds of Prey and Beastie Boys Story. We also really enjoyed Kitty Green's powerful MeToo-themed drama The Assistant and the short yet stylish documentary Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy, both of which you'll find on demand from tomorrow. And Alice Wu's brilliant teen dramedy The Half of It is also on Netflix from tomorrow.
If you're looking for a feelgood film to watch to keep you cheery during this weird period, we've got some good news. We've just started a Lockdown Friday Film Club, where we'll be recommending a film every week courtesy of our wonderful team of film writers. Last Friday's pick was Taika Waititi's Hunt for the Wilderpeople and we've got plenty more to come.
If you've been using this lockdown period to catch up on that pile of reading that has been taunting you for a year, you may at some point find yourself running low on reading material. Thankfully though, there are plenty of bookshops in Edinburgh and Glasgow that are still offering delivery or contactless pick-up. Check out our round-up and order those books on your wish list now.
If you're after recommendations for said wish list, we've got plenty to keep you going. Many authors have sadly had to cancel launch events for their new books but we've been trying to help out by hosting a series of bumper virtual book launches. In the latest edition, we catch up with Laura Lam, Juliet Conlin, Russell Jones, Nicola White and Sylvia Hehir, who discuss their new releases.
Elsewhere, we take a trip into our archive to unearth 100 Best Scottish Books of All Time, a jam-packed guide that sets out to celebrate the depth and diversity of Scottish literary culture. We highlight some picks from some well-known figures in the Scottish arts scene, including Ian Rankin, Denise Mina and Ali Smith, who wrote about their favourite Scottish books for us back in 2005.
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