• Alice McGowan

quarantine diaries | volume VIII


It’s hard to say when my day really ‘begins’ anymore. One of the lovely novelties of not

having anywhere to be is that I get to wake up to birdsong and sunlight rather than the shrill

piercing of my alarm. Today the birds were particularly lively and the sky particularly bright.

I’m still amazed at how blue the sky can be to be when it’s not smothered with pollutants.


I spent the entire morning cleaning up my desktop (the virtual one). I honestly had no idea

how much rubbish was on here. And how badly, obscurely named everything is! I assume

there was some logic to the naming process at the time, but it totally alludes me now. Still,

it seems like a worthwhile thing to do. Given my life is so much more closely bound to pixels

now it seems I might as well make those pixels tidy.


I stayed up late because 100 Gecs were hosting a virtual music festival on Minecraft. It’s

become the new norm, artists coping with the loss of connection with fans by live streaming

music from their homes, but I’d never seen anything this. I wandered around the Minecraft

festival site in amazement; they’d created a vast, virtual wonderland adorned with fairy

lights and (slightly square) treehouse stadiums. The line-up was heavy with PC artists; Danny

L Harle, Charli XCX, Kero Kero Bonito among them. The genre’s fetishization of synthetic pop and AOL-era internet aesthetics seemed rather fitting for a concert hosted on a retro

gaming site. It was pretty surreal being there; watching the avatars milling around the digital

stages; DJ’s hopping up and down on the decks in weird, glitchy Minecraft fashion.


Though I’m cannot wait until the day when I’ll be able to go to the pub, or to hear live music

again, I’m so awed by the tenacity of artists. It’s easy to feel that we’re missing out being so

housebound; but honestly; people are adapting in such brilliant and creative ways. And I

doubt if it weren’t for our confinement so many people would be turning to Minecraft to

create music events so utterly unmissable.

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