Patti Smith will take over London’s Piccadilly Circus billboards on New Year’s Eve as part of a virtual performance.
The punk icon and her band will ring in 2021 with a show at midnight which will be streamed around the world on the YouTube channel of digital art platform Circa.
Smith will pay tribute to the NHS and healthcare workers who have died from COVID-19 in 2020.
“It’s just so sad when we lose people who work so hard to rebuild our world,” she told The Guardian.
She will also read a new poem dedicated to the environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg, who will turn 18 in January.
Greta Thunberg first came to global prominence in 2018, after her first United Nations address. Credit: Image Net
Speaking ahead of the show Smith said: “Some of the work I did in my bedroom, some in a recording studio and some at my desk.
“I had to teach myself how to use Photo Booth on my computer and film myself reading a poem. I’m sure there are 14-year-olds who can do this in five minutes but it took me quite a while. But I got there and I’m so proud of myself.”
She also shared her feelings on Donald Trump‘s time as President of the United States and how relieved she is in the appointment of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
“It’s been a terrible atmosphere to live in,” Smith said of Trump’s tenure. “You try to do your work and not let [politics] permeate your consciousness daily but it does. It’s very insidious.”
Going on to note that she’s about the same age as Trump, Smith added: “I have encountered him in New York through the years and found him a horrible, narcissistic person and just a bad businessman. I’ve seen the debris of his deals.
“I think the damage he has done is going to be felt for a long time. It’s not going to be so easily healed because globally he has empowered people of a like mind.”