Francesca Rudkin: Fingers crossed for a proper summer

Author
Francesca Rudkin,
Publish Date
Sun, 14 Nov 2021, 9:32AM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Francesca Rudkin: Fingers crossed for a proper summer

Author
Francesca Rudkin,
Publish Date
Sun, 14 Nov 2021, 9:32AM

Dire Straits was the first band I saw in concert.  

In John Illsley’s book, My Life in Dire Straits, he reminisces about his childhood and his love of music, the formation of Dire Straits, recording their six studio albums, and the endless tours around the world over and over again throughout the 80’s and early 90’s.  

Reading about Dire Straits I was instantly taken back to that clear night at Lancaster Park, March 1986 – the Brothers in Arms Tour.  

I was only just a teenager, and my mother, who I think secretly was keen to see them, agreed to chaperone me and a few mates along. I can remember walking into Lancaster Park and thinking everyone in Christchurch was going to this concert. Considering Dire Straits mostly played to between 60 and 90,000 people a show, they almost were.  

I can remember the band wandering onto the stage and, as they began to churn through the hits, how exhilarating it was to hear songs which had only existed on the radio now blasting over the field.  

I have another memory of that night – wanting to be closer to the action.  

It was something I achieved when U2 rolled into town with their 1989 Love Comes to Town Tour, also at Lancaster Park. After getting as far forward as we could, a couple of friends and I dropped to our knees and crawled towards the stage - because that’s what well brought up young ladies did. We got about 5 metres from the stage, close enough for a few teenager girls to convince themselves Bono was singing directly to them.  

As these memories came flooding back this week what really struck me was how easily a song transports you back in time - even if it was over 30 years ago. I can hardly remember what I did on Monday; but songs, albums and concerts and their associations with summer holidays, mixtapes, trips, boyfriends, good times and bad are easy memories to place. 

We all have them.  

That’s why I was pleased to see the Government support summer event organisers this week by agreeing to underwrite summer festivals and other events that may face cancellations or postponements due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Events Transition Support Scheme applies to live, in-person paid events with more than 5000 vaccinated attendees. It’s not forever, the scheme runs from 17 December until 3 April 2022, giving the events industry some certainty over summer and Kiwi’s something to look forward too.  

The scheme is an attempt to help large scale events bring an economic boost to a region; the only issue may be the Government has left it too late to announce this backstop - we have already seen festivals such as Baydreams and Outerfields cancel due to uncertainty.  

It may seem like a potential waste of money to some, but we’re all benefiting differently and have varying views on how the $62.1 billion Covid 19 Response and Recovery Fund should be allocated. If the devastated live music industry has made their case successfully then I say good on them.  

Let’s hope we can make more memories that will last a lifetime this summer.