About Daylight Music

Rattle at St John's Bethnal Green | Photo © Cath Dupuy
Rattle at St John's Bethnal Green | Photo © Cath Dupuy

Everyone is welcome at Daylight Music!

To start at the beginning: what is Arctic Circle’s Daylight Music? The short answer is Daylight Music is a Saturday afternoon concert series, an event for all ages, Pay-What-You-Can entry, a room crammed full of music, tea and cake in welcoming spaces across London.

The long answer is for thirteen years the series has been featured regularly in Time Out’s 101 Things To Do in London, cited in The Rough Guide to Make the Most of Your Time in Britain and featured in many other publications such as The Guardian. 

Now for over 350-something outings, Daylight has been ‘there’ in the background supporting London’s live music scene, with a constantly evolving mix of music, sound and words, Pay-What-You-Can entry and delicious quiche and cake (including with vegan and gluten free options).

We often introduce you to a new favourite artist, a new area of music or an instrument that confuses and delights in equal measure. Here are a handful of artists from the thousands who have risen early for soundcheck and afternoon performance -  the London Bulgarian Choir, Blick Bassy, Albaster DePlume, Frank Sidebottom, Nils Økland, Lula.xyz, Radie Peat, Frank Chickens, Lætitia Sadier, Alexis Taylor, Catherine A.D, Jherek Bischoff, Gold Vox, Poppy Ackroyd, Nick Heyward, Hiss Golden Messenger, Laura Cannell, Terry Edwards, Haiku Salut James McVinnie, Trans-Siberian March Band, Kathryn Williams, Darren Hayman, Andrew Wasylyk, Charles Haywards, Keith Tippett, Ed Dowie, Nils Frahm, ISAN, School of Noise and a whole pack of the finest eggs from Isle of Eigg's Lost Map label. Who has been your favourite?

In September 2021 we were able to welcome you back to our series, and whether it was a first experience in music, a re-introduction or just the latest musical match-making, it was good to be back.

‘Our favourite aspect of the day was being able to perform to a demographic of people who might not be able to attend one of our more usual evening performances. Indeed, it was heartwarming to see many children there who were captivated by the performances. The relaxed atmosphere meant people could come and explore our instrument collection after the show and the usual boundaries between audience member and performer were broken down.’ – Minihi

The series has constantly changed and evolved, and post-lockdown we said goodbye to our first home in Union Chapel in North London, but this opened up opportunities in new spaces and new homes in London and hopefully beyond. 

Our initial seasons welcomed collaborators and organisations who have connected strongly with you and us such as Lost Map, Matthew Bourne, Hackoustic, EFG London Jazz Festival, Piano Day, Terry Edwards and Xenia Pestova Bennett.  The series itself is always changing and developing, and diversity is something we have always felt passionately about. We are working harder than ever to make sure it is reflected in our programming.

Since 2021 this has been possible thanks to the incredibly generous support from our community of friends, fans of music and musicians, as well as successful crowdfunders and Arts Council funding.

We know a lot of you haven’t returned to live music yet and we’d like to be there when you’re ready. We look forward to seeing you this year with a mug of tea in one hand and a slice of cake in the other, as our  expedition into new music to continues….

Audience at Grand Junction | Photo © Kat Ciemiega
Audience at Grand Junction | Photo © Kat Ciemiega