Tea-trolley gigs

Even when artists could no longer go into the extra-care schemes, they still managed to deliver joy! Find out more about how we delivered music via a tea-trolley.

During summer, lockdown had eased, and the sun was shining. These conditions allowed artists and residents to get together in the grounds of extra-care schemes, to perform, sing, dance and experience sunny moments of joy – all whilst maintaining distance and staying safe. These sunny days were truly glorious, and Moments of Joy witnessed the powerful impact of the arts on people’s wellbeing. Then the days got colder and unfortunately, the nation faced another 2 lockdowns.

However, having seen the connection and joy that the arts brought to these Sheffield residents, the Age Better in Sheffield team knew we must get creative and continue bringing joy. So, tea-trolley gigs came about! Tea-trolley gigs are a wonderfully simple yet genius way of bringing the arts to people through the power of technology. Sheffield artists who had been involved in the project, recorded themselves doing personalised gigs for the residents who they could no longer come and perform with in person, creating virtual gigs. The results were fantastic! Artists such as Luke Caver Goss and Polly Ives kicked them off with a rendition of Harlem Dover and Somewhere Over the Rainbow. They introduced themselves and told the residents how sad they were that they could no longer perform in person, but that they would like to do a personalised performance to tide them over, until they could once again perform in person.

These videos where then sent to staff at the extra-care schemes, who would walk round the corridors with a tea-trolley, delivering music and a cuppa!

The highlight of tea-trolley gigs came with Polly Ives, founder of Concerteenies, created Little Moments of Joy. Polly put a call out to schools for videos of children singing Christmas carols and put them together to create a video performance of pure joy. This video was also show to residents via a tea-trolley – here is the Little Moments of Joy performance, brought to you by 750 Sheffield school children.