The Future of Norwich Music Forum

Posted on November 4, 2018
future of norwich music forum panel

What is it?

I went and I’m not sure. The aim of this second meeting was to address the concerns raised at the first meeting. Everyone there had been asked to put their questions in an anonymous box and the three panels/talks had been created.


The forum had been set up in response to Ei Publican Partnerships upping the rent on the Brickmakers (and the Garden House & York Tavern) meaning they will have to close. The impending closure of the Brickmakers announced seven months after the closure of The Owl Sanctuary has a fair few people scared. Especially if you make/like rock music.

So how was it?

I learned a few things from the publicity panel. Danielle Booden from the EDP explained what worked best for press releases and Kevin Maddams of Outline magazine talked listings. The chair of the panel, Emma O’Reilly, is a musician as is panelist Hydra Lerna. They both talked self promotion. It was a good mix. Mostly stuff I know but some helpful stuff.

After each panel/talk there was a space for questions then a gap for socialising/smoking/drinking. Each segment overran.

Talk from Clara Cullen of the Music Venues Trust was great. She talked about the work they do and a fantastic piece of policy (not law) they lobbied for that means if you build a block of flats next to a venue it is your responsibility to sound proof rather than issuing complaints to shut the pre-existing place down.

Access panel

So this took the word access to it’s various definitions. I was most interested in how it relates to disability. Hannah from Gig Buddies talked about her work matching people with learning disabilities with volunteers who like going out. This enables people with learning disabilities to go out and have fun when social workers shifts end at 10pm or when family members don’t want to go to the same kinds of events. The history of the Stay Up Late campaign and Gig Buddies is worth looking into.

There was also a chap from access to music who talked about education and the difficulty or organising gigs when the band & fans aren’t old enough to a let in a pub in the evening. Arts Council England had a representative talking funding.


It was a well organised mess trying to attend to the concerns of both bands and venues and gig-goers. They did well putting it on.