Welcome to 2021! After the disaster that was 2020, we can only hope for this year to be better. Surely?
Well, this time last year we wrote our predictions for the coming year, and even though everything was pretty much de-railed by COVID-19 – some of the predictions were on the ball. You can read it here:
So, what about 2021? What’s set to be the ‘next big thing’? What will we all be talking about next year? Will we ever get the opportunity to go to the pub again? Well, we’ve scoured the internet, spoken to some experts and come up with our predictions of 2021…
With pretty much every single event getting postponed or cancelled in 2020, 2021 is set to be the true year of the festival – and I won’t accept anybody saying any different. Sure, if your favourite festival is planned for any time between now and May, it’s likely to get re-scheduled, but once we get to Summer – we will all be donning our wellies and sunflower crowns and descending on parks en masse.
Glastonbury, Parklife, Kendal Calling, Manchester Pride, Isle of Wight, Bluedot, Reading, Leeds, Latitude, Download, Wilderness, Wireless, Creamfields, HOMOBLOC – we’re ready for you all!
With a name that seems to invoke rather negative connotations, there’s nothing really bad at all about ‘dark’ kitchens, and 2021 looks set to be the year that they really take off in Manchester. Already a staple in London over the last few years, a dark kitchen is basically a food delivery service that’s been set up in a kitchen somewhere, usually on an industrial estate.
Free from the restraints of actually operating a restaurant (and all the headaches), a dark kitchen can concentrate on making high-quality dishes for delivery only – and at a time when we’re still in lockdowns and tiers – this can surely be a great thing indeed.
“What did you do during lockdown?” Errr… nothing really. Just watched telly and did some sewing and drank Prosecco. And had sex about 12 times a day. Yep, 2021 is likely to see a huge spike in ‘Lockdown Babies’ as bored couples around the world decided to break up their long days inside with a bit of slap and tickle. Expect plenty of your friends to be up the duff and expecting in 2021, so buy some shares in Mothercare right away.
Musicians have had a very tough 12 months. Without gigs and festivals, they’ve pretty much been stuck indoors with their instruments and their creativity – so you should expect an influx of ‘Lockdown Albums’ in 2021, a manifestation of all of that spare time and the emotions an imposed period of isolation brings.
There’ll be albums from a whole host of the biggest musicians in the world, from Adele, Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna and Ed Sheeran, as well as from closer to home with new music expected from a spate of Manchester acts including Children of Zeus and Larkins.
We all have cameras in our pockets now, but it seems that many of us have decided that we’ve had enough of just pointing and snapping, and want to try something a little bit harder.
Sales of 35mm cameras and film have been steadily increasing over the last 12 months or so, and at the tail end of 2020 there was a big spike in people buying ‘proper’ film and analogue cameras. The attraction is clear, taking pictures becomes a bit of a risk once again and visits to Max Spielman are set to be much more exciting than ever before.
Circle pizzas are SO 2020. 2021 is the year of the SQUARE pizza. More specifically, the Detroit-style.
After years of Neapolitan dominance in the city, this year will see an influx in this this thicker, cheesier and heartier alternative, with Failsworth’s CORNER SLICE already leading the way, and new concepts from BAKEHOUSE32 in Stretford and FOUR SIDE in the Northern Quarter.
A word of warning though – these things are MASSIVE, and VERY filling. Maybe join the gym at some point this year too?
Mental Health Awareness
As the severely damaging effects of lockdown become more and more apparent, a significant shift towards maintaining good mental health is currently happening, and 2021 will see this trend hit the stratosphere. Lockdown, tiers, uncertainty and constant fear has played on all of our minds, and therefore more support and recognition in society is needed.
Endeavours such as the city’s Feel Good Club have gone some way to helping and supporting people, and 2021 will, thankfully, welcome in much more of this help for people.
Finest’s Weekend Walks series has steadily been increasing in popularity over the last 12 months, boosted by a national lockdown where people’s only real escape from their house was daily exercise.
Walks have become the ‘thing to do’ on a weekend, free from the drag of restaurants, clubs and boozers. I mean, even I – someone who has always hated walking – has actually started doing it. We’re lucky too, as Manchester’s suburbs and surrounding countryside is some of the most beautiful in the world.
The UK Drag Scene
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK returns to our screens this week with a whole new line-up of queens and, even though there’s only one contestant from near Manchester, the show’s very existence is set to revitalise interest in the UK drag scene as a whole.
It’s also true that 2020 presented lots of difficulties and restrictions on drag performers, and thus when we’re finally out of this pandemic – expect a massive influx of fantastic drag events in the city. The Village, Schloss and Escape to Freight Island will be leading the way as performers aim to get the scene back on track.
It seems that pretty much every single person who was set to get married in 2020 has had it postponed until 2021. Well, except for myself, whose Las Vegas wedding managed to slip through the net in March before any lockdowns were imposed.
So, 2021 will officially be the year of weddings, and it’s likely that you’ll have one to go every couple of weekends. That means that you should probably get yourself down to Next for a couple of new suits, or Zara for some nice frocks. Try not to get too drunk at the reception and rip the bride’s dress.
The staycation revolution is set to continue throughout 2021, as millions decide to ditch the foreign holiday and explore the stunning sights of Blighty. This will be down to 2 things.
The first is that, even once we’ve got to a point in the vaccination program where we can bring everyone out of lockdown, countries around the world will still be in the clutches of the pandemic, with a confusing array of entry requirements needed in order to get in.
Also, Brexit has confused even the simplest trips over to the continent – so instead of pissing about with all of that red tape – most people will just stay here instead.
The slow creep of climate change will really begin to take hold in 2021, as pressure mounts on the world’s biggest corporations to do something about the planet’s impending doom. Sustainability is set to become even bigger in 2021, and if you’re a business that doesn’t take it seriously this year – you’re not going to survive.
Sustainable beers, sustainable diets, sustainable cars, sustainable clothes – this year is only the beginning, as young people add more and more pressure on businesses to change and adapt, and they’ll do it in the best way possible – with their wallets.
The Power of Independents
With COVID-19 came an increased love and attention for the city’s independent businesses – something which Manchester’s Finest has been championing since day one. The pandemic has exposed many of the UK’s largest companies as tax-dodging, worker-hating behemoths – unable to sufficiently adapt to changing conditions and markets – and essentially disappearing altogether.
2021 will see the power of the independent continue to rise, as people shift from the chains and into the hands of the smaller operators, safe in the knowledge that their money is going to support someone’s life, not a bunch of stuffy shareholders who don’t give a shit about anything other than ££££.
I don’t know about you but I’ve been listening to A LOT more country music over the last couple of months. Well, it’s mostly Dolly Parton but I’ve been branching out recently, and you should too. If I can make only one thing work in 2021, and make only one of these predictions come true – please let it be this one.