March Highlights 2019

Posted: Friday 29 March 2019

March was a bit of a rollercoaster ride, we lost a true legend in The Prodigy’s Keith Flint, but also enjoyed some sensational shows across the country. From surprise Drake performances to Gerry Cinnamon chants and multiple dates of the hottest star right now, Billie Eilish. Here’s a wrap up of everything that happened in the first month of spring.


R.I.P KEITH FLINT 1969 - 2019


FREDO

O2 Ritz Manchester | Saturday 9 March

British rapper, Fredo saw his career take off in 2018 following the release of single, ‘Funky Friday’ and he’s been slowly taking over the scene ever since, selling out shows one-by-one. Taking over O2 Ritz Manchester on the first weekend in March, the buzz for his performance was completely electric. Working through his set, he made the night as much about the crowd as it was him, getting them involved and commanding chaos at every given opportunity. Nothing prepared us for the surprises he dropped, though. Fellow rapper and collaborator, Dave, jumped onto the stage to perform ‘Funky Friday’ with him before the one and only Drake casually appeared, causing the biggest uproar we’ve ever experienced. Take a look below to see what went down.


THE RATED LEGEND SHOW

O2 Academy Brixton | Saturday 2 March

Earlier this year, we sadly lost rising rapper, Cadet and it was a death that shook the UK grime scene and left many heartbroken. To celebrate his life, artists came together on his birthday to host The Rated Legend Show, which featured performances from Stormzy, Yungen, Krept & Konan, Lethal Bizzle, Chip, Fekky, Big Shaq, Not3s, AJ Tracey, Hardy Caprio, Dave and so many more on the night. The event had an overwhelming sense of community about it, with 100% of the proceeds going towards a charitable cause in memory of Cadet and it was a beautiful way to remember everything he’d achieved.


GERRY CINNAMON

Various Venues | 22 - 31 March

When Gerry Cinnamon’s tour got announced the buzz around it was astonishing, then it went on sale and completely sold out within a matter of hours – not bad for a bloke with no industry backing. Kicking off the tour at O2 Academy Newcastle on March 22, before stopping through Liverpool, Oxford, Leeds, London and more, you could hear people chanting his name wherever he went. Bringing through traditional folk sounds with upbeat rhythms and a party vibe, Gerry Cinnamon has quickly become a singer for the people and judging by the volume of the crowds on this tour, you’re going to be hearing his name chanted a whole lot more in the months to come.


VIVE LE ROCK AWARDS

O2 Academy Islington | Wednesday 27 March

The Vive Le Rock Awards 2019 was a gathering of rock ‘n’ roll royalty and what a celebration we had! Punk icon, Ed Tudor Pole hosted the event in his usual eccentric style and even treated us to live renditions of ‘Swords of a Thousand Men’ and ‘Who Killed Bambi’.

Winners on the night included the late Pete Shelley and Ranking Roger, Jaz Coleman, Stiff Little Fingers and many more, whilst performances came from former Sex Pistol, Glen Matlock, the original queen of rock ‘n’ roll, Suzi Quatro and we saw a grand finale of classics from The Stranglers. The Vive Le Rock Awards get bigger and better every year and we’re already looking forward to the carnage that the 2020 event will bring!


STAND UP FOR SHELTER

O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire | Thursday 21 March

There aren’t many feelings better than that of giving to charity, whether you run a marathon, shave your head of sit down for a night of outstanding comedy, there’s so many ways to aid those less fortunate than us. Stand Up For Shelter returned to O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire this year with some of the biggest names on the comedy circuit to raise money for homelessness charity, Shelter. Hosted by Jon Richardson and featuring sketches from James Acaster, Jo Brand and many others, we were treated to an evening of eye-watering laughter and in total raised over £40,000!


BONGO'S BINGO

O2 Academy Sheffield | Saturday 16 March

On March 17 people far and wide joined in the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but one party that went above and beyond was Bongo’s Bingo at O2 Academy Sheffield. Roping in 90s Irish girl-group, B*Witched for a pop extravaganza, it was completely and utterly bonkers. Confetti canons, weird Irish costumes and plenty of prizes were all on offer throughout the night, making it one of the most memorable St. Patrick’s Day events we’ve ever experienced, not sure how they’ll beat it next year.


P.O.D + ALIEN ANT FARM

O2 Academy Oxford | Friday 1 March

The month kicked off with two of the noughties’ best nu metal acts returning to the UK for a co-headline tour of dreams. P.O.D and Alien Ant Farm had us and everyone in attendance coming out of mosh retirement and singing along to their huge alternative anthems. Riotous duo, ’68 opened the show in a furious manner, starting things off in the right way and setting the scene for things to come. Both sets from P.O.D and Alien Ant Farm were outstanding, bringing together both the old and the new, the walls pounded along to their bass-heavy performances as fists were held high in the air. P.O.D at one point even brought many of their fans, including children, out onto the stage to truly make this a memorable night for everyone involved.


BILLIE EILISH

O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire | 4 - 6 March

There’s one artist that is on everyone’s lips right now and that’s Billie Eilish. The 17-year-old breakout star has taken the music world by storm and in just over 12 months, she’s gone from playing O2 Academy2 Islington to selling out three O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire dates instantly. Her dark, dreamy-pop sound has gripped listeners around the globe and her unique style and attitude makes her incomparable to any other artist in history. Making her return to London, swarms of fans filled O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire night after night, with a handful of famous faces, including Sam Smith, Thom Yorke, Alfonso Cuaron and Lewis Hamilton turning up to see Billie in action. Despite her songs mostly being of the softer variety, this didn’t stop the crowds from starting mosh pits and singing back every word as she worked the stage like someone who’s been at this for years. There is something very special indeed happening with Billie Eilish and we can’t wait to watch her grow.


EMBRACE

O2 Academy Leeds | Saturday 16 March

Yorkshire’s very own indie darlings, Embrace, returned home for a special headline show at O2 Academy Leeds where they performed their seminal debut album, The Good Will Out, in full. The platinum-selling record was the start of a monumental career for the band and it was an absolute treat to have them back on home turf playing all the old favourites again. A sellout show, the venue was full of friends, family and fans, all coming together to sing-a-long at the top of their lungs and show their appreciation for one of the finest bands in the UK.


On March 8th we celebrated all the wonderful women in the world for International Women's Day and we're lucky enough to have some badass female musicians playing our venues soon. Here's a playlist of some of them to get you feeling all empowered.

Tracklisting:
Amy Macdonald - 'Woman Of The World'
Honeyblood - 'The Third Degree'
Ward Thomas - 'No Filter'
Alex Lahey - 'Don't Be So Hard On Yourself'
whenyoung - 'Never Let Go'
Lucy Spraggan ft. Scouting For Girls - 'Stick The Kettle On'
Sigrid - 'Sucker Punch'
Lauren Daigle - 'You Say'
Samantha Fish - Audiotree Live Session
Pale Waves - 'One More Time'
Anne-Marie - 'Perfect To Me'
Sleeper - 'Sale Of The Century'
Maren Morris - 'GIRL'
Skunk Anansie - 'Hedonism'
Gabrielle - 'Out Of Reach'
Gladys Knight - 'Licence To Kill'
GIRLI - 'Deal With It'
Sarah Close - 'London'
Toyah - 'Thunder In The Mountains'
SOAK - 'Knock Me Off My Feet'
Martha And The Vandellas - 'Heatwave'
Lizzo - 'Juice'
Lacuna Coil - 'Blood, Tears, Dust'
Stefflon Don - 'Senseless'
Walking On Cars - 'Monster'
Angie Stone - 'Wish I Didn't Miss You'
Mahalia - 'Do Not Disturb'


There aren’t many things better than discovering a new band or artist whose music you instantly connect with. Whether they’re touring the nation making their name or supporting big acts globally, we’re here to put a spotlight on the musically-gifted people with a bright future ahead of them. This month, we introduced you to the multi-instrumental, genre-bending group, Easy Life.



Want to keep up to date with all our features, interviews and more? Why not sign up to our newsletter?

Sign Up


You can now purchase Academy Music Group gift cards! They can be used on thousands of shows across the UK in our venues. For more information, click here.