Last week I had the privilege of taking my 10 year old (going on 15) daughter to Wembley Stadium to see the incredible Adele. Luckily for us it wasn’t one she cancelled and I didn’t have to deal with the aftermath of that and a very upset pre-teen!
Overall the event was amazing. I’m partial to a bit of Adele, I’m happy to admit, although this was the first time any of us had seen her live – and the last probably!
Seeing the production and scale of planning that goes into an event that big for 4 nights at one of the biggest stadiums in the world is in many ways breathtaking. All the finer details from the signage to the event to the screens and the AV structures surrounding the stage.
The audio quality was ok – super powerful, but the clarity in the stadium was a little echo-y. We didn’t find that a problem, but was interesting that in a purpose built events stadium, with some of the best minds in AV technical planning that they still struggled with a full stadium to improve the quality of the sound. The volume wasn’t a problem – definitely not!
But something struck me again at the Adele concert that I’ve sensed several times in the past at Wembley, Earls Court and other massive venues. If we look at the comparison to local smaller venues such as the Quarterhouse in Folkestone or the Westgate Hall in Canterbury… the intimacy of the audience to the artists and the clarity and quality of the music almost doesn’t exist. And for me that’s big. Feeling connected to the artist and the music is an important part of listening and engaging in music.
I came away from Adele slightly in awe of how one woman can have the confidence to stand in front of 98,000 people staring back at her (mostly through their camera phones!) but at the same time, whilst the event was an amazing show, I didnt really engage in the music or felt any real connection to Adele.
I’ve been to lots of events in time, both music, sports, and other and used to co-run a music charity across East Kent. The little venues with their candle lit small open mic nights, and medium sized venues offering locals a chance to see bigger bands perform in their local area – these places are where I find a closer connection to the music, to the artist, and manage to really enjoy the overall show.
Local venues and spaces in Kent are vital to continue providing platforms for local artists and entertainers young and old to release creativity, uncover unknown potential and provide local people with a chance to engage in music in an intimate way, that you just don’t find at a 98,000 capacity crowd at Wembley, all singing Hello!
I loved the Adele concert and we were privileged to be able to get tickets, but theres nothing like a good local venue with a great band or DJ set…
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