Summer music rewind: Resurgence of concerts, music festivals attract crowds


Photo courtesy of Sinan Sensurucu ('23)

Sinan Sensurucu (’23), Tristan Weiss (’23) and Sam Singer (’23) attend the Wireless Festival, a three-day series of music performances, at Crystal Palace July 2. After two years of festival and concert cancellations due to COVID-19, London became a hub for music, with artists such as Travis Scott and Elton John returning to sold-out audiences.

British Summer Time Festival – Hyde Park, June 24 

With the British Summer Time music festival in Hyde Park taking place just a short walk from her house, Sofia Limena (’24) said her parents took her to Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” concert June 24. 

“Elton John is an icon, and they wanted to show me specifically music of previous generations,” she said. 

Limena said she enjoys John’s music and has been listening to it since she was very young.

“He kind of belongs to everyone in the sense that he’s so iconic everybody knows him,” she said. 

Moreover, Limena said she enjoyed going to the concert in person after a two-year hiatus.

“Everyone was happy to finally be able to go out and see this concert during the summer,” she said. 

Billie Eilish – O2 Arena, June 16

Photo courtesy of Ethan Allaway (’23)

Karina Medvedeva (’23) and Ethan Allaway (’23) attended a Billie Eilish concert at the O2 Arena June 16. Eilish previewed “TV” and “The 30th,” both unreleased songs at the time, which Allaway said was the highlight of his night.

“She previewed new music, and then she released it like, a few weeks ago,” Allaway said. “We were actually in that song, if you listen to it. At the end, she had the crowd in it.”

Medvedeva said hearing Eilish’s unreleased music made the concert memorable. 

“That was a unique experience,” she said. “At previous concerts I’ve been to, artists haven’t really done that before.”

In addition, Allaway said he found the performance very engaging with Eilish’s ability to harness the crowd’s energy.

“She told everyone in the crowd to crouch down, and then when the beat of the song hit, everyone stood up and started jumping,” he said. “Everyone actually did it. She could definitely change the emotion of the crowd.”


Wireless Festival – Crystal Palace, July 2

The day before the Wireless Festival Crystal Palace, Sinan Sensurucu (’23) said he bought tickets last-minute to join his friends. Sensurucu said he enjoyed performances from rappers including Bas, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Playboi Carti and J. Cole.

“Walking in, you just saw like a bunch of people, big open spaces, lots of fields,” he said. “Then when you actually went towards the stages, the stages were huge, the setups were big. You could hear the music from basically anywhere.”

Sensurucu said Wireless was a “friendly environment,” where the audience remained aware of each other. Before the festival, he said he apprehended the large crowd based on instances at other festivals like Astroworld where fans have been suffocated or trampled. 

“If someone fell down they would help them up, or let them out if people needed to sort of leave the crowd and the more dense areas,” he said. 

Travis Scott – 02 Arena, Aug. 6

Photo courtesy of Raaghav Aaditya (’23)

After six years of listening to his music, Raaghav Aaditya (’23) said he attended a Travis Scott concert Aug. 6 at the O2 Arena with two friends. He said Scott did not appear for a couple of hours after the doors opened, building the crowd’s anticipation. When Scott began his setlist with “Hold That Heat” on top of a circular disk hanging from the top of the stage, Aaditya said the crowd “just went insane.” 

Scott performed “Sicko Mode,” one of his most popular songs, which Aaditya said was a highlight of the night given that he heard the song’s featured artist Drake perform in 2018.

“Now I feel like I’ve seen both performers of that song from both sides,” he said.

With practical effects including smoke and fire, Aaditya said Scott’s visuals ultimately added to the high-energy atmosphere.

“It was just really an intense beginning that set the tone for the rest of the concert,” Aaditya said. “It was just phenomenal.”

Video courtesy of Sinan Sensurucu ('23)