‘Nick was a larger than life character who will be sorely missed’ - tributes to the man who brought U2, The Jam and hundreds more bands to Norwich

Nick Rayns at the University of East Anglia (UEA)

Nick Rayns at the University of East Anglia (UEA)

An entertainments manager who booked more than 2,000 bands to appear at the University of East Anglia (UEA) has passed away, it was announced today.

Nick Rayns was able to attract a wide range of musical talent, including notable headliners U2 and the Jam, during his 34-year career at the UEA.

The UEA's students' union released a statement today saying : 'The Union of UEA Students is profoundly shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden death of its entertainments manager, Nick Rayns.

'Nick passed away peacefully, at home with his family.'

The four full-time student officers added: 'Nick was a larger than life character who will be sorely missed by all union staff and UEA students. Our thoughts are with his family at this terrible time.'


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Mr Rayns was a prominent name in the music industry and had an impressive knack of booking bands just as they hit the big time.

Eurythmics played UEA in the same week their single and album hit the top of the charts, and Robbie Williams performed his first post-Take That gig at the university.

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He took UEA from a venue which hosted eight concerts a year to 62, adding up to more than 200 if the UEA-run Waterfront venue is included.

Mr Rayns also worked for a time as tour manager for Liverpudlian post-punk band The Teardrop Explodes.

After attending Colman Road Junior School and Hewett High School in Norwich, Mr Rayns worked for a brief stint as a salesman for Mars Confectionary before embarking on his long career in the music industry.

He enrolled on a course in development studies at UEA in 1973, only to return six years later to take up his position as entertainments manager.

Leave your tributes to Mr Rayns below or alternatively call reporter Dominic Gilbert on 01603 772375.

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