Virtual music to the young musicians’ ears

Melontree performs at last year''s Ignite Youth Festival.

By Romy Stephens

An online platform has been launched to help emerging artists in the hills perform during Covid-19 restrictions.

‘Ignite Uncancelled!’ provides young musicians the chance to perform in front of a live streamed audience every Saturday.

It has been developed by the directors of Ignite Youth Festival, a music festival for all ages with performers under the age of 21.

Festival co-director Blaise Cosme said the idea was inspired after the postponement of PAVE festival earlier this year.

“We were scheduled to run an outdoor youth stage at the PAVE festival in March which had to be postponed once the Covid-19 pandemic was declared,” he said.

“We began to explore ideas for creating online events for emerging artists and developing opportunities to perform via live streams.”

Blaise said he worked with the Emerald Community House’s Phil Byers – who is also a Ignite Youth Festival co-director – to get the initiative underway.

The pair set up a remote studio at the Emerald Community House, to connect multiple streaming video sources, bringing artists together into a single live stream.

The first event took place on 25 April and featured local artists Hannah Schmidli and Lili-Violet.

Blaise said the event was a huge success.

“It’s amazing, we’ve never had this many people at an event for Ignite and we’ve only heard positive things,” he said.

He said he hoped to make the Saturday live streamed sessions a permanent event, even after restrictions are lessened.

“Instead of doing the whole remote thing, we will build a studio and bring the artists in and run more of a live production,” Blaise said.

“If that goes really well we might continue this for a long time.”

The next two live streaming sessions will see Jazmin Micallef and Ayden Gadsden perform on 9 May and Bo’Ness and Jasmine Scholz perform on 16 May.

Blaise said it is a more important time then ever for young artists to practise their skills.

“People like it and for a lot of the artists it keeps them happy,” he said.

“Many of them don’t have any gigs at the moment so we’re creating the opportunity for the younger artists.

“The young local artists are really limited as to what they can do with the equipment they have or the resources they have.

“We’re really creating the opportunity for them to play in front of an audience even if it’s virtual.”

For more information about ‘Ignite Uncancelled!’, visit the Ignite Youth Festival Facebook page or