NYE 2021

Patti Smith will perform a midnight NYE gig on the Piccadilly Circus screens
By Alex James Taylor | Art | 28 December 2020

With usual New Year celebrations muted due to Covid-19 restrictions, Patti Smith and Anne Imhof are stepping in with a special broadcast to see in the New Year.

As part of a major commission by the renowned German artist, across the iconic Piccadilly Lights screen (Europe’s biggest), Patti Smith and her Band will kickstart 2021 with a ten-minute performance beginning on the stroke of midnight – presented by digital art platform, CIRCA, the performance is described as a “gift to London, the city that Smith loves.”

If you’re heading down to see the event, visitors are encouraged to wear a face mask and adhere to social distancing guidelines, while headphones are required for a fully immersive audio-visual experience, delivered via the CIRCA website to your phone. Or, if you’re having a lockdown NYE at home, you can watch the whole thing live on YouTube (23:30 – 00:10GMT). The performance will then be screened every evening in January at the time of 20:21GMT.

In the run-up to the midnight gig, the Piccadilly Lights screen will present footage filmed at the Tate Modern during Imhof’s large-scale installation and performance in 2019, Sex. This will include the “solitary and iconic image of Eliza Douglas whipping up the waves on the beaches of Normandy”, as a symbol of this year’s Brexit transition.

“It is an honour to show my piece ONE on the iconic screens of Piccadilly Circus leading up to midnight on New Years Eve as part of the c.20:20 project,” says Imhof. “The opportunity to take over Europe’s largest advertising display and open a portal to hope in the final moments of 2020 is humbling. Peace, freedom and respect for everyone in 2021.”

Patti Smith has also created four limited edition prints in support of the CIRCAECONOMY costing £100 each – available to buy here from 1st Jan.

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