So 2016 has arrived! It is an exciting time for live entertainment. Here are Viva Live Music’s predicted entertainment trends.
More a capella choirs. These choirs and groups are truly awesome:combining outstanding musicianship, performance, voices and dance. Originally a phenomenon in USA, made even more popular following ‘Pitch Perfect’, plenty of University and young people’s groups are thriving. Gareth Malone’s ‘Naked Choir’ series developed this further. Wonderful for a background music option, but the real entertainment engagement is when you use them as a feature. If you want a real treat, attend the London A cappella Festival in late January.
Everything Brazilian and Rio: it is Olympic year (yes!) this year and it is the perfect time to add some Bossa Nova rhythms to your events. Whether you want to create a street party with wonderful Samba dancers; a band with fabulous rhythm section; a strong singer with small band playing the classic Brazilian songs; have background music or even classical crossover music for a vibe (Brazil has a very fine tradition of the acoustic and classical guitar), this will be a fresh, contemporary theme. You could even have some dancers teaching basic Samba moves.
Shakespeare 400: This year celebrates the 400th anniversary of Shakepeare’s death. The website with celebrations is here. From an event perspective, there are plenty of theming opportunities. Mid Summer Night’s Dream themed events would be stunning – outside (if the weather behaves) but even inside would be marvellous with acoustic music, dancers and characters. A contemporary feel could be to have musicians creating rap (even a cappella) versions of sonnets.
Immersive theming: this is something Viva Live Music have been delivering for some time: we’re allergic to the meet and greet ‘character’, two plastic trees, a ‘DJ’ playing his favourite tracks and a couple of silly hats in a photo booth “themed” events we have encountered. Live entertainment – where the performers engage and include the guests, is part and parcel of theming. Whether you have mix and mingle musicians, dancers who invite you to dance with them, singers who get you to sing with them or musicians getting you to perform with them, it is great fun! Forget the live entertainment element at your peril!
Acoustic sounds: there are more and more excellent ‘acoustic’ musicians, providing wonderful entertainment options. We celebrate this form of entertainment because it is raw, and stripped back brilliance! Of course a guitar accompanying a beautiful voice might not always work volume wise at an event, so we’re working hard with our sound engineering company to create ‘natural’ sound – the same applies to our themed entertainment, where natural is better than a really loud sound for themes.
Vintage theme: this isn’t going to go away any time soon! Vintage – as well as film and TV themes are hugely popular and if done well, are truly memorable for guests. For particular themes, live entertainment: dance as well as live music, is part and parcel of immersing guests in the vintage experience. Entertainers taking real care of their playlist songs and their costumes, dancers having a clear knowledge of the right dance moves and styles for particular eras, are all part of the fun.
Have great fun creating your events for 2016: and remember – the entertainment element of your event is an essential part.
If you would like to discuss your events for 2016, do contact us and arrange a call.
Susan Heaton-Wright is the creative director of Viva Live Music. She has over 25 years experience of performing, arranging and creating entertainment for events. Entertainment themes she has created include: Viennese ball, 4th July Celebrations, Wolf Hall experience, Downton experience and Swinging Sixties.