Live Music in Norwich – Survey

A new survey has been officially released today that aims to build a better picture of engagement with live music in Norwich and the role it plays in the city’s cultural environment.

The survey has been developed by arts market research company Vivid Interface in collaboration with the Future of Norwich Music Forum. Gig goers across Norfolk and Norwich are being encouraged to contribute to the survey to be in with the chance of winning some exciting music related prizes.

The live music industry in Norwich has faced uncertainty in the last year with the closure of popular alternative venue The Owl Sanctuary, whilst others such as The Brickmakers faced the threat of closure due to increased pressure and rent hikes by pub co Enterprise Inns.

The Future of Norwich Music Forum was established in September 2018 in the aftermath of these events. Recognising the uncertainty and detrimental impact they could have on the local music scene, founders Megan Thrift and Jon Fennell set up a Facebook group for people to discuss their concerns about the future of Norwich music. The group now has over 800 members and since October, two meetings have been held at The Brickmakers and Epic Studios to bring these discussions to the wider public with around 150 people attending.

Megan recalls that “issues like the impact of the struggling economy, higher ticket and drink prices, increased business rates, accessibility, unreliable public transport and ‘hit and miss’ publicity were all hot topics.

The reaction to the group and the support we’ve had at the meetings has been incredible. However we realised that to have any significant impact, we needed to open up the discussion to hundreds more live music fans across Norfolk and Norwich.”

Geoff Dixon is a local festival organiser and managing director of market research and insights consultancy, Vivid Interface ( As events and culture sector researchers, they approached the Future of Norwich Music Forum offering to conduct a pro-bono survey. The aim is to gather opinions and experiences from across the region’s music fans, in order to provide information that can be useful for interested parties including Norwich City Council, Norwich BID, venues, organisers and media, to better plan for the local industry’s future.

The survey is fully confidential and contains a section for music lovers who are disabled or have learning disabilities, to ensure that it covers everyone in the music community.

Geoff believes that “a vibrant night time economy and live music scene can define a city and bring significant social, employment and commercial benefits. It can play a significant role in the regeneration of city spaces and in providing resilience and sustainability in the face of challenges in the retail economy. It is not just about having fun! Any city can expect to benefit from having a dynamic night time economy and a live music strategy; to encourage and focus resources to enable live music to flourish bringing benefits to all who want it.

The way we engage with music has changed significantly in the last ten years. As well the move from downloading to streaming, UK Music states that 35% of live music venues have closed in that time, many of which have been smaller independent venues that don’t have the capacity to attract big names. Yet they perhaps play the most vital role in providing space for musicians, DJs, promoters, photographers and technicians to start and develop from. Even international stars like Arctic Monkeys started their career in a room above a pub!

We asked Megan what the future holds for live music in Norwich, and why this survey is so important.

The opening of Bermuda Bob’s, renewed lease of The Brickmakers and imminent regeneration of Norwich Arts Centre have certainly made the future of Norwich music look brighter, but we cannot be complacent. It’s an ever changing industry that faces new challenges every year, and understanding how these places are viewed and used in the present is vital if we’re to maintain them and adapt for the future.”

Survey sponsor and Commercial Director of ACS, Jono Heale states: “ACS very much supports the view that live music should be an integral part of the social and economic capital of any town or city and its benefit reaches further than people may believe. This survey will provide an important opportunity for music goers in Norwich to voice their opinions on the state of the live music scene.”

The survey is open until Sunday 24th February. It takes around 10 minutes to complete and the EDP will publish the results once they have been analysed.

Accessing the survey

To access the survey CLICK HERE

Everyone who completes the survey could be in with the chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes:

  • A pair of custom fitting high-fidelity ACS ‘Emotion’ earphones, worth £850 that can also be used as in-ear monitors.  The same ACS products are used by the likes of Pink Floyd, Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian, Lily Allen, Fat Boy Slim, Jessie J, Paloma Faith, Radiohead and many more…
  • Two weekend camping tickets for Maui Waui Festival
  • Two weekend tickets for Maui Waui Pirates Ball in May.
  • Two tickets to an event of your choice at a Norwich music venue.

For further information and full terms and conditions of the prizes, please click on the survey link.