4Music’s Box Fresh: 2021 Spotlight showcases the very best in new music for the year to come, featuring exclusive performances and interviews from Arlo Parks, Pa Salieu, Gracey, 220 Kid and The Snuts live from Alexandra Palace Theatre.
The TV channel have been producing their Fresh new music shows since 2017, discovering and supporting the most exciting emerging artists from across the world. When it came to shooting 2021, they really wanted to film within a music venue, being all too aware that the live music industry had practically ground to a halt because of the pandemic: the 2021 Spotlight was to shine a light on our much loved venues, as well as the artist themselves.
Having been familiar with Ally Pally since working with us to film AJ Tracey’s sell out gig in the Great Hall back in 2019, 4Music felt the Victorian Theatre, preserved in an eerie yet beautiful state of arrested decay, would be an atmospheric backdrop for the show. The space, which had only reopened to the public two years before, is practically frozen in time having been abandoned and locked away since the 1930s.
Because of the pandemic, Ally Pally had extra capacity and was able to accommodate the five day booking (one day for rigging and four for shooting): “As such, we felt a great sense of privilege to gain access to the beautiful Theatre backdrop for some really memorable live sessions – with five breakthrough acts who were equally excited to perform there so early on in their musical journeys.”
Despite filming at the height of the pandemic the shoot ran smoothly. 4Music had a number of logistical and geographical changes they wished to make to staging and seating configuration in the venue ahead of rig day, all of which was followed to the letter. “Our filming schedule was run with meticulous attention to detail, with everyone from planners to security and parking attendants laser accurate with their planning/instructions. Curveballs were dealt with calmly and efficiently.”
They created an ambitious 90 minute show broadcast on New Year’s Day and repeated throughout January, “….with the otherwise empty venue creating a poignant backdrop and commentary on the temporary loss of live music audiences.”
You can watch performances from all five artists below.
“Having previously worked with the team at Alexandra Palace we went into this project knowing how helpful, knowledgeable and accommodating every member of staff at the venue is. From our very first enquiry through to a national lockdown announcement and of course filming through the tightest of COVID regulations, the entire AP crew were always lightning fast to adapt, meticulously across all of the latest Government advice and very much took a solutions-focused approach to every question or potential issue we brought to them.”
Flic Counsell, Executive Producer 4Music
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