‘No-music’ rule scuppers pub’s reopening

The “no live music in pubs” rule means that one of the area’s most popular live music pubs has had to put any plans to reopen on the back burner.

Some 95pc of revenue at The Brickmakers, in Sprowston, comes from live music and as Charley South, one of the Brickmakers’ team, said: “We know from experience that if we don’t put on bands, we don’t get customers.”

“We have a handful of regulars that would come in regardless of the music but sadly those customers aren’t enough to keep the doors open. Opening just as a bar at this point would not make enough money to cover our huge overheads and would only dig us further into the debt hole we are already in.”

The closure which was implemented back in March means that the pub has had no income for many weeks and the financial implications of reopening without any music gigs would be “overwhelming”.

“It seems until we can reopen in a ‘normal capacity’ The Brickmakers doors will remain closed.  It doesn’t, however, mean we are sitting on our hands while in limbo,” Charley added. “Since the start of lockdown, we have been broadcasting on Brickmakers Radio every day, putting out live streams and interviews with local bands and keeping the local community engaged with local music. We plan to keep on doing just that until we can reopen our doors and start rockin’ once again.”

A photo montage put together by the Brickmakers team to promote the need for live venues. The main photo was taken before social distancing rules were in place and edited.

The local community supported a Crowdfunder to help out, which currently stands at £5,935, which meant “The Brickies” could tick over for a while, but while Charley said the situation was scary, the pub had by no means given up.

“We are still here; we are still fighting and we are still coming up with new ideas to keep the music loving people of Norwich entertained while we are waiting.”

The pub’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/c/thebrickmakersnorwich, is updated every day with videos of local bands and interviews to keep music fans up to date.

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