This time last year who’d have guessed that one of 2022’s biggest hits would be a song from 1985 – Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill? Or that Beyoncé would release an old-school house album? Or that the UK would not come in the usual last place at Eurovision, but a dizzying second? The 12 months gone by prove once more that making predictions in music is as ill-advised as Kanye West’s Donda 2. And yet, I’m going to gaze into my crystal ball and make a few predictions for music in 2023 anyway. Am I feeling unusually wise? Or lucky? Or do I just enjoy making a fool of myself in public? Who can say? Here are six events, trends and departing musical greats to watch out for in the year to come.
The UK will win Eurovision (sort of)
Following Sam Ryder’s near-triumph at Eurovision in Turin in May, the UK has the privilege of co-hosting the 2023 music competition in Liverpool, in partnership with last year’s winners Ukraine. Whether or not the UK manages to win for the first time since 1997, as an occasion it’ll undoubtedly be triumphant. How could it not be, as the city which brought us The Beatles meets the country that brought us tinfoil-suit-clad techno-folk transvestite and Eurovision legend Verka Serduchka.
Eurovision, May 9–13
Ticketmaster will finally face a reckoning
In its relentless mission to gouge every penny out of passionate music fans, US global entertainment monopoly Live Nation and its ticket sales wing Ticketmaster failed to account for a formidable foe: Taylor Swift fans. After tickets for the star’s first US tour in five years went on sale in November – crashing the corporation’s creaky, labyrinthian and cryptically priced online sales system, causing many fans to miss out – the Swifties didn’t just get mad, they got organised. A group of 26 are suing Ticketmaster for, among other things, fraud and price fixing. Separately, the US Department of Justice has opened an antitrust investigation. After decades of shoddy practice, Ticketmaster might finally be forced to clean up its act in 2023. Thank team TayTay.
Christine and the Queens’ Meltdown will melt boundaries