Economy boost hopes for Norwich as thousands prepare to visit city-wide festival

PUBLISHED: 09:39 09 October 2012 | UPDATED: 12:13 09 October 2012

The Norwich Sound and Vision team(l to r) Jenny Allison, Stuart Hobday, Adrian Cooke and Rosie Arnold. Photo by Simon Finlay

The Norwich Sound and Vision team(l to r) Jenny Allison, Stuart Hobday, Adrian Cooke and Rosie Arnold. Photo by Simon Finlay

Archant Norfolk Copyright

Thousands of music, film and multi-media fans are expected to descend on Norwich this week – with a business boss welcoming the boost to the city’s economy.

Norwich Sound and Vision (NSV) will welcome more than 100 bands, 60 speakers and thousands of visitors for its third year, with events taking place from Thursday until Saturday.

The first John Peel Festival of New Music is included in the bill, while a fundraiser for a Stowmarket creative arts centre established in memory of the late DJ will take place tomorrow.

This event featuring The Fall, The Undertones and Bearsuit has been ticketed separately and is sold out.

And NSV’s organisers hope the extra events across the three days and the growing reputation of the festival will ensure visitor numbers double compared to the 4,800 who attended in 2011.

Twelve venues will be used as the festival and conference draws further comparisons with the renowned South by South West (SXSW) event in Austin, Texas, United States.

Churches, pubs, bars, clubs, a cinema and even the undercroft under the war memorial have been selected by organisers to host bands, talks and screenings. NSV attempts to give bands, singers and companies a chance to learn how to progress and make contacts with officials from the music, film and multi-media industries.

Festival director Adrian Cooke said: “I think we are really pleased with the whole programme that we’ve put together. The conference and the John Peel exhibition all mix together really nicely and we have produced a really compelling offer and created what we set out to do at the start – which is a festival people will come to Norwich for.

“It’s not yet as big as we want. It needs to become a sustainable model in itself so it survives on its own two feet.

“I think we want to have as much impact as we can. Part of that is bringing in other art forms – more film or creative industries. Norwich Sound and Vision has grown very, very quickly.

“There’s a lot of people that have never been to Norwich before and they see what an amazing, creative city we have. We’ve estimated the numbers might be double this year and some hotels have filled up already.”

Caroline Williams, Norfolk Chamber of Commerce chief executive, said: “It’s great to have such a fantastic showcase in Norwich and as it progresses through the years it’s gaining momentum, which means even more people are coming from not just the local area but nationally and internationally.

“The more people that visit Norwich and understand what we have got here, the greater impact it will have on the economy.”

Tickets can be purchased for individual events, a three-day music wristband costs £35 and a full-delegate pass providing entrance to every event costs £80.

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