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Patti Smith at Piccadilly Circus
courtesy of Circa

How to stream Patti Smith’s New Year’s Eve performance

The punk legend will perform a 15-minute gig and a new poem for Greta Thunberg, alongside artist Anne Imhof, which you can stream via YouTube

Update: Following advice from the Metropolitan Police and the evolution of Covid-19 restrictions in London, the Circa New Year’s Eve virtual presentation by Anne Imhof and Patti Smith will no longer be screened in Piccadilly Circus. The health and safety of our audience is our first priority. As planned, the work will still be broadcast online for viewers to watch at home in London and all over the world via the Circa website and official Circa YouTube channel between 23:45 - 00:15 GMT.

Earlier this year, the digital art platform Circa launched its first exhibition on the giant electronic billboard in London’s Piccadilly Circus. Promising to commission a new artist every month, the project kicked off with Ai Weiwei, who offered an hour-long film – cut into 2-minute chunks between the screen’s usual adverts – that examined our turbulent times. 

The next phase of the project (AKA “c.20:21”) will see the Piccadilly Circus screen host a project by punk icon Patti Smith at 8:21pm, every night for the month of January. First though, Smith is set to stage a 15-minute performance, to celebrate the end of 2020. Beginning at midnight on December 31, the show will mark the end of the year, and the beginning of her residency. In keeping with government guidelines, you can watch it all from the safety of your own home, on YouTube.

Besides performing with her band, the musician is set to pay tribute to NHS and healthcare workers, and recite a new poem for teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg. Smith previously dedicated a poem to Thunberg at the beginning of the year, on her 17th birthday.

In the run-up to Patti Smith’s performance, Circa will also broadcast a commission, One, from the German artist Anne Imhof. The montage was filmed during Imhof’s takeover of Tate Modern’s Tanks, with an installation titled Sex, in 2019. 

“It is an honour to show my piece ONE on the iconic screens of Piccadilly Circus leading up to midnight on New Years Eve,” says Imhof, as reported by Artlyst. “The opportunity to take over Europe’s largest advertising display and open a portal to hope in the final moments of 2020 is humbling. Peace, freedom and respect for everyone in 2021.”

Patti Smith’s performance and Imhof’s One will also be available to watch via Circa’s YouTube channel (below) from 11:45pm, December 31