Welcome to the new decade! Apart from still filling in “2019” out of habit, 2020 is shaping up to be a pretty good year so far. The past year may have had its share of downright awful events that made us all wish we could time travel our way out, but we’re here now and looking ahead with a positive mindset.
To that end, we have gathered 20 interesting, wholesome, or noteworthy things that will happen this year. Look forward to these events and keep the hope alive!
Photo courtesy of tokyo2020.org
The Olympic Games will be running from 24 July to 9 August this year, with the Paralympics following shortly from 25 August to 6 September. The fact that Tokyo will be playing host to the games this season probably means we will get to see an opening ceremony that is amazing and totally extra. Will there be a mash-up of epic anime characters in a choreographed fight sequence (Sailor Moon and Attack on Titans just floated through our minds)? Or perhaps a hundred-strong parade of Harajuku girls dancing to J-pop tunes? Who knows, but we’re all up for it! This also presents the perfect excuse to hide at home with our summer bestie, air conditioner-kun, and not get flack for it.
Photo courtesy of NME
Glasto is turning 50 this year, so you can bet your bottom dollar that the organisers are more than likely to pull off something amazing. We’re still reeling from Stormzy’s headline slot last year, but we’re sure something’s in the works to top that. The local council in Pilton has just confirmed that there are plans to accommodate thousands more this year, and you know increasing capacity means an even bigger party! T-Swift and Paul McCartney have already been confirmed as headline acts, as well as Diana Ross for Sunday afternoon in the Legends slot. If you didn’t manage to get your hands on tickets, cancelled and unpaid for tickets will be up for resale in April—set up a reminder!
If you’re anything like us, you will have spent the past weekend sending Coachella’s line-up announcement to your squad (with a string of capitalised keyboard smashing) and frantically searching up plane tickets. For those who don’t know yet, Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott, and Frank Ocean are headlining, with artists such as Calvin Harris, 21 Savage, BIGBANG, Lana Del Rey, Lil Nas X, Charli XCX, and Daniel Caesar performing as well. One of our friends described the three days as “hype up, party hard, and have a good weep,” which sounds cathartic to us. This is truly set to be Coachella’s best line-up to date and we can’t wait!
Last year, the United Nations announced their plans to plant forests in Asian and African cities in efforts to help them become greener. The initial plan is to establish up to 500,000 hectares of new urban forests in 90 cities across 30 countries. According to the UN, the swatch of trees has to be bigger than the size of Hong Kong if it is to help tackle climate change.
Efforts are already ongoing to make this happen; Myanmar has even deployed tree-planting drones that could theoretically plant 400,000 trees a day. We can only hope that some of these trees will also go to Australia, who so sorely need the green help due to their bushfire crisis.
Photo courtesy of Euro 2020
The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship will have their games spread out across 12 cities in 12 European countries instead of just being hosted in any one place. Running from 12 June to 12 July, this could be the perfect chance for football fans to do a pan-Europe road trip, ending in London for the Wembley final. Euro 2020 will also see the introduction of the video assistant referee system, which should be interesting. Portugal won the 2016 edition; who are you rooting for to defeat the defending champions?
2019 may have brought us the epic Avengers: Endgame, but 2020 is set to be a bumper year for superhero films. DC seems to be more female-focused this year and will be releasing Birds of Prey (with Harley Quinn and girl gang facing off against Gotham crime lord Black Mask) and Wonder Woman 1984 (with the protagonist fighting Maxwell Lord and Cheetah). Marvel will also supply their share of girl power with Natasha Romanoff’s backstory in Black Widow and Maisie Williams in The New Mutants, which we hope will cancel out the disaster that was last year’s Dark Phoenix.
In other news, Jared Leto will become a Spider-Man villain in Morbius, Tom Hardy will be returning as Eddie Brock in Venom 2, and in Marvel’s most exciting and diverse offering this year, Angelina Jolie, Kit Harington, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Don Lee, and many more will star as the universe’s strongest heroes in The Eternals. Superhero fatigue may be a thing, but not for us this year!
Our listening habits were not very diverse in 2019, but that’s all going to change this year. Get ready: 2020 will see Sam Smith, Lana Del Rey, Halsey, Tame Impala, The 1975, Dua Lipa, The Strokes, Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, Selena Gomez, and BTS (among others) releasing new albums. What do you reckon your Spotify Wrapped will look like by the end of the year?
Photo courtesy of Louder
Speaking of music, millennial babies, rejoice! We’re going to be hit with a huge dose of nostalgia this year, with some of our school-years favourites reuniting to make new dolla dolla bills. The Pussycat Dolls have already given us a teaser of their music in a performance on the X Factor and are set to comeback with eight UK gigs in the first quarter. Your inner emo child is crying as well, because My Chemical Romance have also announced a reunion. Currently, plans are only for a gig in Los Angeles, but the year’s just started, so who knows? We’ll take it!
Photo courtesy of IndieWire
We’re salivating over the arrival of the new House of Mouse streaming service to our shores. Designed to take on Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and Apple TV Plus, this will be the exclusive platform for everything Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, NatGeo, and of course Disney’s own studio content.
Disney will also be gearing up its original shows and movies, with Marvel’s Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, and WandaVision all slated to come out this year. There are reports that Disney+ might be launching in India and parts of Southeast Asia in the second half of 2020, which will hopefully include Hong Kong. We deserve to get in on all those Baby Yoda memes too!
We don’t need any more excuses to camp out on our couches, but how can we resist with the slew of good television series slated to come out this year? Sci-fi fans will love Avenue 5, a space tourism sitcom starring the inimitable Hugh Laurie as the captain of an unfortunate space cruiser. Trekkies will celebrate Patrick Stewart’s return as Captain Picard after 18 years away from the role in the spin-off series Star Trek: Picard.
Bestselling novel Normal People will be adapted into a 12-part series of the same name by author Sally Rooney herself; Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander will star alongside Stephen Fry and NPH in Boys, a humourous five-parter following three young gay characters during the AIDS crisis in the 80s; and fans of Fleabag and Killing Eve will need to watch Run, helmed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge who also has a recurring role on-screen.
Speaking of which, Killing Eve is coming back, along with The Handmaid’s Tale, the second season of The Mandalorian, and possibly the fifth season of Stranger Things around autumn. Creative heavyweights Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams are collaborating on Lovecraft Country, in which 1950s racist America meets monsters straight out of HP Lovecraft’s books in a double whammy of horror; three siblings discover their family home is in fact an interdimensional portal haunted by demons in Locke and Key; and at long last, Westworld should be returning with their third season, with the additions of Aaron Paul and Vincent Cassel into the cast.
Closer to home, Park Seojoon will lead in Itaewon Class as an ordinary guy trying his best to make his way through life (much like in his previous hit drama Fight For My Way); HERE will feature the star-studded cast of Lee Byunghun, Nam Joohyuk, Shin Minah, and Han Jimin, which already draws attention despite the plot not being released yet; the first Korean Netflix original series Kingdom will return for a second season; and the writer who gave us hits such as Goblin and Descendants of The Sun is returning with The King: Eternal Monarch, starring Kim Goeun and Lee Minho (the actor’s first series since his return from military service). Phew! Do we even have enough time in the year to watch all this?
Photo courtesy of The Tech Chap / YouTube
Gamers will once again be furiously debating pros and cons while Twitter gets flooded with memes, as both Sony and Microsoft will release their new consoles this year. Microsoft has already revealed their Series X console late last year, and sources claim that at 12 teraflops it will be more powerful than the new PlayStation 5.
Just earlier today, photos of the PlayStation devkits were leaked on the PS5 subreddit, and while it’s only a glance at the hardware such as the ports and the Dual Shock 5 controller, Sony is likely to release more information at the Consumer Electronics Show 2020. Both consoles are expected to launch towards the end of the year. We’ve also heard rumours about a Switch Pro… will these prove to be true?
Xbox Series X will be accompanied by the release of Halo Infinite and Hellblade 2, while the PS5 will be packaged with the new Call of Duty and Final Fantasy titles. Don’t be so quick to chuck away your PS4 or Xbox One though! There will be plenty of games coming out this year to make your existing consoles relevant yet.
There is the RPG Cyberpunk 2077 starring Keanu Reeves, a Final Fantasy 7 remake, an Avengers game, a sequel to The Last of Us, a new Doom, Dragon Ball Z, a Minecraft spin-off, and Half Life. Honestly, though, the game we’re looking forward to most is Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which will be coming to the Nintendo Switch in March.
Following the footsteps of Heathers: The Musical, Mean Girls, and Legally Blonde, 2020 might see a staggering number of movies remade into stage musicals. Who wants to witness Miranda Priestly do a song-and-dance number in The Devil Wears Prada musical? We know we do! Look out also for The Bodyguard, 13 Going on 30, and Some Like It Hot. Word on the streets is that Magic Mike, 17 Again, and the Archie Comics universe might also become theatre productions. We think another one that will be interesting is Bombshell, which is based on the fictional production in the TV show Smash—can you get more meta? A trip stateside could very well be on the cards if this is to happen.
Photo courtesy of Tesla
Electric cars and hybrids are becoming a popular sight on our roads already, so it’s a good time to extend the earth-friendly treatment to trucks. We will readily admit we still haven’t gotten over the monstrosity that is the Tesla Cybertruck, but we’re willing to give other models a chance. Quite a few popular automakers have already announced plans to give their pick-ups and haul-ems an electric upgrade; GM has an all-electric truck in the pipeline. Start-ups Lordstown Motors and Rivian will both release their models this year, and the Bollinger B2 will also be released (with an astronomical price tag).
Photo courtesy of Dubai Expo 2020 / YouTube
From October 20 until next April, Dubai will be hosting the upcoming edition of the World Expo. 192 countries have been confirmed to participate, each with their own pavilions where they will be showcasing their latest in art, technology, science, as well as their unique histories and cultures.
A huge indoor and outdoor area has been purpose-built for this global event, and if the glitz of the city is anything to go by, the 2020 World Expo is sure to be a spectacle. The theme for this edition is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, with an overarching focus on happiness and environmental stability. If you’ve always wanted to visit Dubai, 2020 presents a great chance to go and also experience this expo that only runs every half a decade.
Photo courtesy of Yahoo News Singapore
Japan has very ambitious plans to have a lunar base manned entirely by robots up and running by this year. In terms of technological prowess and imagination, there really isn’t a better nation for the job. Remotely controlled from Earth, these bots will also have AI and be granted a good level of autonomy for collecting samples, self-repairing, and making their own decisions in surveying. Economic factors may put on damper on these plans, but it nevertheless is still a good possibility. Imagine if the bots end up finding that rabbit who lives on the moon!
Photo courtesy of NASA
Yet another event for space lovers to look forward to. There will be a new rover bound for Mars in either late July or early August this year. It will join its predecessor Curiosity on the Red Planet and is decked out with 23 cameras and two microphones to fully capture the space landing and its adventures on the desolate plains of the far-flung planet. Curiosity won’t be all by its lonesome ownsome any more, and humankind will be that much closer to understanding more about space and our neighbouring celestial bodies.
There are a whole lot of books we are looking forward to reading this year. In Ann Napolitano’s Dear Edward, a 12-year-old boy has to deal with overwhelming fame and trauma after he is the sole survivor of a plane crash; Megan Angelo has crafted a clever and engrossing narrative in Followers, featuring alternating chapters about a blogger in 2015 who makes her roommate famous for the perks and a government-controlled celebrity in 2051 whose life is for public consumption; and Miranda Popkey’s sharp debut novel Topics of Conversation follows the life of the narrator through her conversations with other women about relationships, desire, and motherhood. The prequel to the Hunger Games series, A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, will also be released, and Chilean author Isabel Allende (who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Obama) will have A Long Petal of the Sea coming out. This is just the tip of the iceberg!
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Harris
In 2006, Yahoo invited people to submit digital artefacts that were representative of life at the time for inclusion in a virtual time capsule. Tens of thousands of pictures, videos, artworks, poems, writings, and other content were offered up, and the final product was stored away safely in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. The plan is for Yahoo to open the capsule for memory’s sake as part of their 25th birthday celebrations, which falls on this year.
We don’t know if the contents of this time capsule will be of much value—mention 2006 and we’re suddenly reminded of MySpace pictures featuring copious amounts of eyeliner and fringes straightened to within an inch of its life, or cringe-worthy Pon and Zi illustrations of “I made you a cookie but I eated it” fame—but it will nevertheless be an interesting event!
If a new year has always traditionally signified a new beginning, then surely a new decade should mean a huge shift in trends, on both a global and a personal scale. We’ve got a full 10 years ahead of us to grow, to experience, to make mistakes, to create, and to shape the course of history in general. How do you want the world to look back on the 2020s? Let’s make great things happen!