It’s an Epic new role for Norwich arts stalwart Stuart
PUBLISHED: 09:38 28 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:02 28 January 2014
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The new man taking over the reins at Epic Studios is a familiar face in Norwich’s arts scene and excited about steering the city venue’s future.
Stuart Hobday, who was Norwich Arts Centre’s director for more than eight years before taking time off to travel and pursue cultural projects, is Epic Studios’ new venue manager and is delighted to return to Norwich.
“Epic has got so much potential, with the size of the venue and also that ability to film and broadcast broadcast-quality TV. It really is a unique venue,” said Mr Hobday, who is no stranger to Epic, having previously organised a Norwich Sound and Vision event there in 2012 featuring The Fall and The Undertones.
He said there was a great buzz about the Magdalen Street venue, with lots going on, including the Access to Music course for 300 students which has recently moved there and an array of media and web companies using Epic as their base.
“Epic is a very positive and forward-thinking place and that is what I am hoping to carry forward. The long-term plan for the area is that Anglia Square is to be developed as well, and Epic will be in a good place to benefit from that too.”
Epic dates in Stuart’s diary
Events Stuart is looking forward to at Epic Studios:
• Beth Neilsen Chapman on March 3 - “She’s an example of a really good quality contemporary American singer songwriter.”
• James Bay on February 22 - “This guy is going to be big. He’s a sort of Damien Rice-type singer-songwriter.”
• Blue Light, Rockin Night on May 17 - “A fundraiser for breast cancer charities featuring four bands from the emergency services headlined by firefighters’ band The Backdrafts.”
• Young Norfolk Arts Festival June 27–July 6 - “Epic Studios are hosting three events as part of this festival including the Sistema Orchestra on June 27 and a Norwich Sound and Vision showcase on June 29.”
• Many more exciting shows in the pipeline - “A lot of up and coming bands in our smaller space including Pixel Fix, Verses, Dumb, As Elephants Are, Hawthorne Heights.”
Mr Hobday, who was previously an operations manager for the Millennium Dome in London, said Epic Studios was still establishing itself and had lots of potential to develop in different areas.
“It takes time to find your niche within the cultural landscape and we are still doing that. We are still exploring different things,” he added.
“I think Epic will be well-placed to develop as a music venue and I also want to develop the venue for conference-type events.
“I think Epic has got a very positive, high-tech, futuristic feel to it. We have got that ability to live stream broadcast quality TV on the web and that is what I am going to be pursuing.”
He said he was also keen to develop more opportunities for young people, and with regards to Epic hosting music events, he said: “It’s been a mixture I think so far, supporting up-and-coming local bands and bigger, more retro acts, and I am keen to fill in the middle and get the bigger contemporary bands.”
Mr Hobday said he was really enjoying being involved in Norwich’s cultural scene once more. He added: “Like a lot of people, if you have time away from Norwich you appreciate it more. For the size of Norwich there is a lot going on. It’s a nice place to live, and culturally there is a lot of activity in the city.”
For more about Epic Studios visit www.epicstudiosnorwich.com
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