Gig venue reveals huge drop in ticket sales since coronavirus

Epic Studios on Magdalen Street in Norwich. Picture: Epic Studios

Epic Studios on Magdalen Street in Norwich. Picture: Epic Studios - Credit: Epic Studios

A popular Norwich gig venue has seen a 90pc drop in ticket sales in the wake of coronavirus.

Jonathan Thursby, chief executive of Epic Studios, in Magdalen Street, said sales had dropped in the last week, affecting popular events such as Bongo Bingo, which saw its no-show rate treble.

He said no organisers or promoters had pulled events but that he had prepared staff if the business had to shut as part of government plans to contain the Covid-19 virus.

Mr Thursby said: 'We have seen a decline in ticket sales in the last week by about three-quarters.

'We have also seen treble the amount in the percentage of no-shows at Bongo Bingo on Saturday. The no-shows rose from 3pc to 9pc.

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'We look at all the numbers all the averages and its evidence how much its affecting people coming. At the moment we are still going until the government says otherwise.

'Everything is still going on. No sponsors or promoters have come and said we need to cancel.'

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The studio has carried out a deep clean following three big events at the weekend.

It has increased the number of hand sanitising products and will introduce a thermal imaging camera to monitor temperatures in the studio.

At full capacity the studio can hold 1,600 people and see 98,000 through its doors in a year.

Only one event has been cancelled so far due to low ticket sales with future events including a jazz night and dance festival set to go ahead.

Mr Thursby said while tickets had taken a hit in the summer, customers were booking for events later in the year.

He said: 'Looking at our ticket sales it's gone down by 90pc and I would say events up until summer have taken big hits.

'We announced a Dave Pearce event which is after the summer and there have been a lot of sales so there seems to be an optimism out there that people think it will all be good.

'We have to look at all financial aspects: like every business there is only so much cash in the bank.

'We need events to run so the business can pay the wages. These are big questions. We do not know what is going to happen.'

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