Norwich festival to celebrate legendary DJ John Peel’s passion for new music

Renowned music DJ John Peel's passion for introducing millions of music-lovers to undiscovered talent is to be celebrated at a city festival.

Norwich Sound and Vision (NSV) has today revealed it will host a John Peel Festival of New Music when it returns for its third year in October.

About 50 bands from the UK are expected to play at 10 venues across Norwich during NSV, which runs from October 11 to 13.

Stuart Hobday, director of Norwich Arts Centre who helps to organise the festival, said the ethos of the festival matched that held by Mr Peel, pictured, who died in 2004, aged 65.

Mr Hobday said: 'I think we all felt straight away John Peel encapsulates what we want to do at Norwich Sound and Vision. It's not about the headliners but emerging bands and individuals.

'The festival is making a statement for new music. Nostalgia in music, particularly in live music, is all over the place with bands reforming,' he explained.

'Each of these acts that we all liked from the past were a new band at some point trying to elbow their way in and that is what John Peel represented – getting that new music through to people.'

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A benefit gig at Epic, in Magdalen Street, is also planned the night before the NSV convention starts on October 11. All money collected will go to the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts at Stowmarket in Suffolk.

Discussions are at an advanced stage with a big-name headliner and Mr Hobday said that an announcement was expected 'imminently'.

Sheila Ravenscroft, Mr Peel's widow, is a patron of NSV and has given her blessing to the festival.

She said: 'I'm very pleased that an organisation like Norwich Arts Centre is keeping the spirit and legacy of John's passion alive.'

NSV gives bands, singers and companies a chance learn how to progress and make contacts with officials from the music, film and multi-media industries.

Festival director Adrian Cooke said: 'I'm overjoyed at these new developments for the conference and very happy that we are in a position to raise funds for the John Peel Centre. John was always interested in hearing something new and I like to think he would have felt at home at our gigs, helping people to discover new bands.'

Anyone wanting to get involved with sponsorship of the festival can email or

What memories do you have of John Peel in Norwich? Write to Evening News Letters at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 3RE or email

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