Harry’s House is the place to be – why Harry Styles is the future of live music

Some say Harry Styles is a sign of the times, but Harry is the future and we’re all lucky to be witnessing it.

I’ve been fortunate enough to see Harry live multiple times – both with One Direction and as a solo-artist – but what impresses me the most are the ways in which Harry manages to stay authentic whilst pushing the boundaries of live music.

The British singer’s latest album ‘Harry’s House’ has skyrocketed to #1 in over 60 countries and the live performances of his new songs have gone viral on social media. Fans have been braving Ticketmaster queues to get a glimpse of Harry on stage, and those that were lucky enough to score tickets were treated to one of the most memorable experiences.

Harry Styles has been championing an innovative live music format which I believe, in the future, will become the norm for many other musicians. Upon the release of Harry’s two most recent albums – ‘Fine Line’ and ‘Harry’s House’ – the singer announced “One Night Only” shows in select locations (Los Angeles, New York, and London) with tickets costing approx. $25 and promising fans a performance of the new album from top to bottom. Every song on the album… performed live… for the first and realistically, the last time.

When artists tour, it’s common for setlists to be compiled of their most successful hits with a couple of album deep-cuts scattered in between. With Harry allowing fans to hear the new album in its entirety, the experience becomes more valuable than you can imagine. During the concert, Harry spoke of how much he adored this live music format and ability for him to perform his albums in “the way it was intended, from start to finish.”

‘Harry Styles: One Night Only’ in New York occurred on the release day of ‘Harry’s House’ and left the singer speechless, as fans in attendance already knew the words to the new songs, memorising them in under 24 hours. When in London a week later, fans sang the lyrics even louder, to Harry’s amazement. It was beautiful to witness the awe on Harry’s face, and joy evident amongst the crowd.

In the age of livestreams, an in-demand concert like Harry’s becomes prime opportunity for a global viewing party. Whilst many Harry Styles fans have often taken it upon themselves to livestream his shows themselves on Twitter or Instagram, Apple Music recently jumped on the bandwagon. For the first time, Harry’s ‘One Night Only’ in New York concert was livestreamed with an official broadcaster, available on the Apple Music platform live, and for additional screenings in the following days.

The demand of this livestream was notable, as fans livestreamed the Apple Music livestream for those who aren’t Apple Music subscribers. Fans used Twitter and Twitch to achieve this, ensuring that no Harry Styles fan missed out on the experience.

Harry Styles creates a safe space for fans to express themselves, whether they’re physically in attendance at a show or watching live from the comfort of their bed. Becoming famous for delivering a heartfelt speech each show, Harry always says, “feel free to be whoever you want to be” and advocates for the LGBTQI+ community, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement – waving flags supporting the causes on stage at every show. His song “Treat People with Kindness” is the motto, branded on merchandise and preached from the beginning of his solo career. The love and support that radiates from Harry shines brightly back at him from the crowd, with an undeniable understanding existing between the singer and his fanbase.

With the future in mind, Harry Styles is also an advocate for charity, climate change and gun control.

In the bid to end gun violence, Harry recently pledged a $1 million donation from ticket sales for his upcoming, sold-out ‘Love on Tour 2022’ US tour to Everytown. The organisation works to achieve gun safety and the end of gun-related violence. Despite this action being prompted by the devastating mass-shootings occurring in America recently, Harry has always been passionate about the cause, displaying an “end gun violence” sticker on his guitar while performing in 2018.

Supporting charities and organisations isn’t new for Harry, who also raised $1.2 million on his 2018 tour, donating funds to local charities along every leg of his worldwide tour.

Harry also aims to create tours that are sustainable, conscious of the impacts of climate change. Partnering with REVERB, ‘Love on Tour’ featured an “Action Village” that enabled fans to ‘join Harry in working toward a better future for our planet and communities around the world.’ Reusable bottles with free water refill stations were promoted to avoid single-use plastics – an effort in place for fans, crew, and Harry. The tour prioritised waste reduction, waste diversion and carbon elimination and REVERBS’s impact report details the positive impact this climate-focused tour had.

World tours that focus on climate change and sustainability will become more prevalent over the next five years, with artists such as Billie Eilish, Coldplay and Shawn Mendes already following in Harry’s footsteps. Live music has always been a place to raise awareness, and funds, for communities that suffer the consequence of climate disasters and devastating incidents. Benefit concerts, from Live Aid (1985) to FireFight (2020) prove that fundraising initiatives based around live-music events positively impact the world we live in. When broadcast globally awareness is spread, as is the opportunity for international viewers to donate and support communities that so desperately need help.

The spirit of these one-off events is honoured in Harry Styles’ tours and can be felt every time a fan buys a ticket to his shows. It can be felt every time Harry takes to the stage.


Harry Styles is the future. There is no doubt about it. Over the next five years, more artists will follow in his footsteps, creating tours that are safe spaces for fans, sustainable and focused on the future. Charity organisations promoting important causes will be highlighted more in the live music scene, encouraging donations and awareness that promotes further action. The live-music scene will also benefit from “One Night Only” style concerns that celebrate music for what it is, a magical art form that unites people all over the world. Having the opportunity to listen to your favourite album performed live, from beginning to end, will re-define what it means for an artist to release an album.

Harry Styles will be at the forefront of future live music changes and the world will be a better place for it.

Imagine Dragons – World IBD Day

There are special live music experiences that go beyond the music, the production, the venue. Some live music experiences feel like an accumulation of all your hopes and dreams, the journey you’ve travelled through life. You hold those moments close to your chest, and never want to lose the feeling that overcomes you during the set. It feels like magic.

Seeing Imagine Dragons live felt like magic.
It was the 19th May, 2019.
It was World IBD Day 2019.

To be completely vulnerable, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2012.
Dan Reynolds – the lead singer of Imagine Dragons – is diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.
World IBD Day celebrates the IBD warriors battling Crohn’s & Colitis, whilst aiming to raise much needed awareness for these invisible illnesses.

To celebrate World IBD Day 2021, I’m going to write about how seeing Imagine Dragons live on World IBD Day 2019 impacted me.

Imagine Dragons have always mastered the art of creating joyful music that empowers, inspires and makes you literally feel On Top of the World.

The world they create for their live shows is nothing short of euphoric. With neon lighting, copious amounts of confetti and larger than life beach balls falling from the sky to pass around – you’re always feeling engaged and united with the band, and the crowd around you. Dan Reynolds’ happiness is contagious as he dances around the stage with an energy that never waivers.

Fans scream the lyrics at the top of their lungs and try their best to interact with Reynolds as he jumps off stage and runs through the crowd – without security too. It’s an incredible atmosphere where you feel free to be your most authentic self.

The beauty of this though, is that it’s not without the acknowledgement of the darkness and struggles we experience in life.

Dan Reynolds dedicates moments of the show to speak about his struggles with mental health. I can honestly say, the speech he shared with the crowd at my show was the most vulnerable I have ever witnessed an artist be on stage. I cried. He reassured the audience that it’s OK not to be OK. He spoke candidly about therapy, of taking time to heal and better yourself. He spoke of the importance of health.

Photography: Natalie Hannan


As someone who has experienced similar struggles, I felt seen. Being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease changed my life forever. The physical and mental pain, the isolation, the trauma…it was debilitating. Live music has always been a source of hope and light for me. To have overcome my struggles and be sitting in a crowd of thousands, witnessing Imagine Dragons ignite hope and light in the hearts of the crowd, on World IBD Day of all days…speechless.

To be sharing the momentous occasion with Dan Reynolds, it felt triumphant. I felt empowered and accepted. I felt understood. It’s rare that a performer on stage, who travels the world for their job and is put on a pedestal by many, can ground themselves and speak on a level that relates to all.

I’m so grateful for Imagine Dragons; for their inspiring lyrics, for the safe space they create for fans and most importantly, for their brave front man, Dan Reynolds – who is unafraid to be himself, unafraid to be vulnerable. Dan Reynolds is someone who uses his platform to reassure fans that we can do Whatever It Takes to overcome our challenges and that life is worth celebrating.

To learn more about Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis and see how you can show your support for World IBD Day 2021, please visit Crohn’s and Colitis Australia.



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Dua Lipa – Newtown Social Club – Sydney, Australia – 2016

Live music is magical and often I struggle to find the words to describe the magnitude of the moments I experience in concert venues. My experience seeing Dua Lipa live for the first-time fits into this category, and still feels surreal to this day.

On July 13th, 2016, I witnessed a star being born. There’s no other way to describe the night.
Dua Lipa was a powerhouse from the second she stepped foot on stage, dancing and singing her heart out, until her voice was raspy as she fare welled us goodbye. The room Dua performed in was tiny, holding a capacity of approximately 100. The venue was Newtown Social Club, and unfortunately, closed a couple of years ago. I miss it and feel an immense amount of reverence towards it. It’s because of Newtown Social Club that I was able to see Dua Lipa, a now 3x Grammy award winning artist, break into the Australian music landscape. And guess how much my ticket cost. Only $40. Insanity. I still have the ticket and consider framing it every time I lay eyes on it.

With only approx. 100 people in the room, the whole gig felt intimate. There was an incredible awareness that we were the lucky few. We were seeing Dua perform live for the first time in Sydney, Australia. Little did we know, although we hoped, that it would not be the last.

At the time, “Be The One” and “Hotter Than Hell” were being added to radio rotations, slowly climbing their way up the Australian music charts. During the concert, Dua played these hits to a crowd so enthusiastic, the motion of our dancing and jumping made the floor beneath us shake. The energy was electric and our appreciation for Dua’s artistry evident, as she treated us to performances of unreleased tracks. Songs like “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” and “Thinking ‘Bout You” that in the years to follow would take the world by storm and be featured on her self-titled album. Rarely am I fortunate enough to see an international artist perform before they’ve even released their debut album, but let me tell you, it’s one of the most incredible experiences. It intensifies the attachment you have to the artist and their music. It feels like an honour.

It may sound silly, but the experience made me proud. Proud to seemingly have great judgement and a finger on the pulse of the music industry. Proud to identify a superstar before the world knew her name. Proud to see Dua Lipa in such an intimate setting, in the humblest beginnings, before growing into a global sensation and touring arenas around the world. Proud of Dua’s talent, success, and passion.

In 2018, I was fortunate enough to meet Dua and see her live another two times – one in a setting even more intimate than the first, in a room of about 20 – and secondly, at Luna Park’s Big Top, to one of the biggest crowds she’s played to date in Australia.

But hey, they’re stories for another time…and I can’t wait to share them here on Lovers of Live.


James Bay

There’s one word to describe James Bay when he performs live. That word is: electric. Is that a reference to his sophomore album ‘Electric Light’? Of course, but it’s also the energy he radiates on stage, and what I feel each time I’ve been in the crowd at one of his shows.

And how I felt when he personally replied to me on Twitter!

I’ve been fortunate enough to see James Bay live three times. While each show was a joy, there are two that will remain close to my heart, that are experiences I will cherish forever.

The first, is the evening in 2015 when I saw James Bay perform to an intimate crowd of about 100, in the Paddington Uniting Church, Sydney. Yes, you read that correctly. I saw James Bay perform in a church, and let me tell you, it was a profound experience. It felt reverent, grounding and the acoustics were goose bump worthy as he performed ‘Let It Go’ and ‘Scars’. It was the first time I had seen James live and it impacted me immensely. It’s rare that you witness such talent in such an intimate setting, but it was the perfect way to hear his beautiful music and witness his aura on stage.

I also had the pleasure of meeting James after this show and he was so kind and lovely to speak with. It only made my respect for him and his art grow. Naturally, I was then sure to catch James live each time he made his way back to Sydney over the following years. His 2016 Hordern Pavilion show was lively and of a much larger scale, as I went from experiencing his music with hundreds, to thousands of fans. I felt weirdly proud, seeing this artist I love grow in such a short amount of time, and gain such a vibrant, engaged audience in Australia.

However, it was his 2018 Sydney show, held at The State Theatre, that made me feel the intensity of what I experienced the first time I saw James live. Much like the Paddington Uniting Church, The State Theatre feels reverent, grand, and quite frankly, magical. From the moment you walk in the foyer, you’re aware of the history that has filled those walls and it feels like an honour to experience live music in the venue.

James performed to a crowd that was eager to be up on their feet, dancing and as close to the stage as possible. It was an incredible atmosphere, as fans filled the aisles and sang every lyric back to James. It felt just as intimate as it did electric and I often re-watch videos from the night to feel as if I’m back living in that moment.

James Bay is charismatic and charming. At his shows, I find myself in awe of his guitar skills, just as much as his voice, never wanting the performance to end. One of my favourite songs from ‘Electric Light’ is ‘Wasted on Each Other’ and it was the opener of his set at The State Theatre. The bass, the acoustics…it was everything I imagined that song would be live, and I’ve been desperate to hear it live again ever since.

James Bay has blessed the world with a new single in 2020, ‘Chew On My Heart’ and if it’s anything to go by, I have no doubt the next album will be a colourful expression of life and love – and I’ll be first in line to buy tickets to his next Australian shows, whenever they may be.

Here’s hoping it’s sooner rather than later.