The first Lockdown Presents gig, before we even existed, happened by chance. We wanted to find a way to surprise Mags for her 83rd birthday but who we couldn't see in person as it was April and we were in lockdown.
Simone had the idea of getting in touch with her friend Abi Hyde-Smith, a professional cellist, who had recently had much of her work cancelled because of lockdown, and asked if she might join a family birthday Zoom call with Mags, but as a surprise.
We arranged for Abi to join 15 minutes into our call and to play some Purcell, Mags' favourite composer, and at the appointed time, there was Abi and her partner Matt on cello and viola. The performance was warm, fun, and personal, and in Mags' words, "such a thrilling experience, I never expected anything like it!"
High on how well this had turned out, we started wondering if this was something we could repeat, especially with how many people were being affected by lockdown, both people who miss personal and live music, and performers whose work had been cancelled.
We decided to reach out to a few more musicians and to test the concept...
Eventually word spread, mostly by word of mouth to begin with but soon after featuring in print, online newspapers and radio.
We're delighted to have brought thousands of people together through the medium of real, personal, live, music. Take a look at some of our recent reviews to hear stories of connection, joy, and love of music.
Our core mission is to bring the joy of live music to people when you can't be there in person, and help the arts thrive, not just survive, during this period of change. Lockdown Presents is run by a small volunteer team with 80% of booking fees and 100% of tips going directly to the artists. All profits are donated to our charities; Mind, Age UK and Refuge.