Fans to return to live music hotspot thanks to new outdoor stage

Landlady Charley South introduces the Brickmakers' new outside stage for their live music. Picture:

Landlady Charley South introduces the Brickmakers' new outside stage for their live music. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

It is known as a music-lovers paradise but for the past year it has not been able to put on live gigs.

But the Brickmakers pub on Sprowston Road will be able to celebrate music once again thanks to a new outdoor stage bought through grant money awarded late last year.

The pub will be hosting local musicians every Sunday starting from May 30 until September through its Summer Sessions afternoon gigs and 150 people have booked tickets for the outside event, in line with covid-secure guidance.

Charley South, landlady of the Brickmakers, said: "I hope this will stay. We have got a lot of ground to make up and want people to feel safe, as well as encourage them to come out and enjoy live music again.

"Bookings for outdoor gigs are chock-a-block but indoor events are slower. People are quite scared about being in crowds again."

Miss South, who has run the pub with her friend and mother for 18 years, added that having an outdoor stage was always an ambition but before the pandemic could never afford it.

The Brickmakers, Sprowston Road. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Brickmakers pub on Sprowston Road, Norwich. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

The cash windfall, which comes to several thousand pounds, was made available through the Arts Council England Project Grant.

Before the pandemic, the pub used to have to spend £2,000 to hire a stage, lighting and PA system for its outdoor gigs which could attract between 300 and 400 people.

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But the grant has covered the cost of all the necessary equipment, including a canopy to protect artists, and it will remain up in the pub's large beer garden throughout the summer until end of September.

The 46-year-old landlady, who first played guitar in the Brickmakers aged 14, said it was important to invest in music venues.

She added: "We have some great venues in Norwich but not as many as there used to be. You have got so many musicians that need to learn their craft by playing as a band on stage. We are a great stepping stone for that."

The Summer Sessions events are happening from 12-8pm with live music from 2-4pm.

Visit for details on all upcoming gigs.

Summer in the City. 

Summer in the City. - Credit: Archant

Our Summer in the City campaign, sponsored by Norwich BID and Chantry Place, urges people to make the most of what Norwich has to offer this summer.