Posts Tagged ‘Brickmakers’

Happy Thursday everyone, and what a happy one it is too! 

Whilst we still don’t have any news on the reopening of The Brickies (more about that in a moment) I’m sure you have all seen by now that BRICKFEST 2020 will be still rocking the city this year!

Three weeks ago the amazing guys at Pop-Up Pictures (The guys who are running the drive in cinema at The Norfolk Showground) called me to discuss a crazy idea.  After following our #saveourvenues campaign and being lovers of live music themselves they wanted to help us to put Brickfest on this year, despite having to remain closed.  This seemed like an awesome idea but we were concerned about many things, safety being the main priority. Anyway, after that phone call I didn’t hear anything for a couple of weeks so kind of figured it was way too off road and wasn’t going to happen. However, last week I got a call saying it was looking like it was going to happen. So, with an open mind and excited tummies, Emma and I went over to the showground to meet the team and see just how possible it was.

We met Danny who is in the man in charge of this insane notion and he guided us on a tour of the showground.  We were bowled over by how well everything was organsied. They were mid screening of Moana and things were happening.  The space was immense and Danny showed us the arena plot where he planned to put two massive stages, they already had it all planned out. The space we were looking at would easily hold 10,000 people in a normal standing gig (pre Covid) and we were talking about potentially a capacity of 1000 people in roped off areas, these ‘pods’ would seat 2,3 or 4 adults.  There would be a 2m gap between each pod and one way walkways through the pod areas.  There was more than enough ground space to operate this safely.  Danny showed us around the toilet areas, which were correctly managed with one way systems and there were plenty of hand sanitising stations around.  I have to say we felt at ease that safety was also their top priority as well as ours.  There was an ambulance on site in case of emergencies and medics close to hand at all times.

We then checked out the ‘Food Street’ – an area slightly away from the main arena that was full of different food vendors from crepes to Mexican and classic burgers – They had it all covered.  We actually began to let ourselves get excited.  But how would we successfully run the stage? there had to be ample changeover time to allow for cleaning and sanitising equipment between each band.  Danny had that covered too!  He explained by putting up two stages, when one band finishes on one stage, the next band can start on the second stage allowing time for cleaning and set up of the next band. Genius!! This actually could work.  Danny explained that he was meeting with the council and Showground organisers last Friday for the final discussions and decision whether they were happy for us to go ahead!! Yikes – needless to say we had our fingers crossed the whole weekend.  By yesterday we were a little worried however by the afternoon we had a big shiny green light to go! 

We then had a massive ‘Holy Crap’ moment!!! Usually Brickfest takes a whole year to organise, we had merely a few hours to get the line-up confirmed and then 5 weeks to sell 900 tickets.  Was that even possible?? Well we are always up for a challenge. 

 By the time you read this blog post the event will have been already announced and tickets are on sale so bookmark this and go and get your tickets now! The line up is incredible and full of headliners. See the event info for more details or head over to our webpage.  The pods are currently being sold at Earlybird prices until allocated tickets run out so get in quick for cheaper pods, It works out at a fiver off per head at Earlybird prices.  There are also VIP pods available where you get a better view of the stages and waiter service which is awesome if you don’t want to keep going to the bar.  These are a little more expensive but worth it if you fancy a bit of special treatment. The money from each ticket is split equally between the organisers and us. We then split our share (after costs) with the bands.  Each band has their own ticket link so if you want to support a particular band, please buy your tickets direct from them as they will get more money that way. It would be amazing to be able to sell it out, we know 900 tickets is a big ask, although there were over 1250 people in attendance at last year’s Brickfest so anything is possible.  Whatever happens, we get to spend a day listening to some of the regions finest bands and also help them to earn a little money.  Needless to say we are all very excited and equally crapping our pants! (excuse the phrase) So that’s our exciting news! Please come and share it with us, God knows we need some live music back in our lives.  

What about the pub?  What’s happening? I hear you all cry.  I know it’s frustrating, believe me, we too are seriously frustrated and quite frankly have all been feeling a little downhearted the last couple of weeks, Brickfest is just what we need to pick us up again. We will be opening again, but not until it is safe for us to do so in our normal capacity. It just isn’t viable for us to open while any amount of social distancing is in place. Please take heart and know that we will be back and rockin’ again as soon as we possibly can. We hope that Brickfest will give you all a little pick-me-up until we are back firing on all cylinders.  It won’t be long guys, just hang in there. 

In the mean time, please subscribe to our YouTube channel, we are uploading new videos all the time, we have a new Humdinger with the Claire Barker Band going up on Saturday which was so funny it made me cry. There are also lots of live NOT live performances up there for you to rewatch to your heart’s content. 

Don’t forget to tune into Brickmakers Live On Air too, Claire Barker presents her ‘Life In Lockdown Show’ tomorrow morning at 10.30am, she will be chatting to Claire Brooks from The Walnut Tree Shades about her reopening and how she’s getting on. Of course, there’s the usual hilarious chatter and triangle twanging with Josie Tate too! (That sounds so wrong but I’m leaving it in as it made me giggle).
We also have a new presenter in the Brickies Radio team who started last week – DJ Bumpy from the ROCK FAMILY facebook group has took over the Friday Night Rock Show from 9pm – 11pm. Hop on, request a song and give him some support. 

Right that’s it for tonight guys, I’ll sign off before I wander into excessive waffling territory! Have an awesome weekend and don’t forget to go and get your Brickfest tickets!!

 Lots of love Charley & The team xxx

Yes folks, it’s August and things are going mental, all totally in a good way of course but there’s much to plan and even more to plan to plan, if that makes sense.  We are on the countdown to BRICKFEST 2015 now (there is officially 24 days to go) and we are all busy little bees getting things done.  We have ordered new T-shirts for Brickfest 2015, this year they are Printed in a very saucy red. We also have Childrens sizes available this year as so many of you requested them for your Brickies kids last year. So you can now kit out your whole family in true Brickfest style!  We also have some very exciting Brickfest mugs and of course some vintage Brickfest merchandise for all you avid Brickfesters…  The Brochures/  event guide have been printed in glorious technicolor and are here already. or you to check out our line up nice and early so you can plan your day well in advance,  feel free to pop in and pick one up – you don’t need to wait until the day.  Its a running joke with Mum, Em and I that we have to leave the printed material til as late as possible as we always get at least one act pull out on us.  Well this year I was running very late on my deadlines so thought we were safe, home and dry. Alas,  we had an act pull out this morning… however, all is not lost, we are lucky to have a long waiting list of bands waiting to get on The Brickfest line-up so we filled the gap quickly. Another sigh of relief 🙂 and then there’s the marquee – we put it up earlier in the year for an all day event and it was the same weekend as all those crazy storms and winds.  A few of the poles had bent beyond salvage so we have been on a treasure hunt searching for spare poles to fit our “very rare size” (of course!!!) marquee!!.  We manage to find the one place in the whole UK that make them, however they only do them in white so now we have a silver and white marquee hahaha…   Anyway, niggles aside, we are actually almost ready, tombola prizes are awesome this year including a very sexy Jagermeister machine (same as we have on our bar) among many others, wristbands printed, event guides printed, awaiting delivery of T-shirts and mugs, massive – ‘ I didn’t realise how big I had ordered it’ banner printed (note to self: go out on the roundabout and plaster banner for all of Sprowston to marvel at), Em made sure the bands are booked, cookie stall booked, BBQ booked, Bouncy thingies booked, Face painter booked…. Mum is sorting out the tombola. bar and the stock….. errrrr…errrrr…cant think of anything else…I think all we need now is you guys to come and enjoy it all and of course maybe a little splatter of sunshine. 🙂

When Brickfest is peeking over the horizon it is sometimes difficult to focus on anything else but lets not forget that around this awesome festival are another 364 awesome days jam packed with great music for you all.  Our diary is chockablock and already we have people wanting bookings for for next year.. something Im happy to say we’re not even going to contemplate doing until at least mid September.. The days, weeks, months just seem to fly by..  I look at my little blog here and can’t believe its taken me five hours to write these few lines but in fairness I have soundchecked and gigged two fab bands in the midst so its not so bad after all.

We spent the night with ‘The Super Action Heroes’, four fun chappies who generally have fun on stage, its a pleasure to see actually, It amazes me sometimes how so many bands look unhappy when they gig, don’t misunderstand me, I’m not pointing any fingers.  Its just, well – you see people having a good time and it’s infectious, a smile catches on just as quickly as a yawn but makes you feel so much better.  It makes me happy when I see a band really loving what they do and really having fun….that’s what music is all about, provoking a response, in this case a happy one.  When I gig I can’t help but smile, it makes me very happy and I have so much fun with my fellow band mates, I feel like it spreads out over the crowd, be it 10 people or 300 people. Whats the point of doing it if it makes you frown.  Ohhhh speaking of me gigging,  just in case any of you want to come and watch us having fun and maybe even join us in fun having – Pure Passion are on tomorrow ( ooops today now)  that is Saturday 8th August for those of you that I may be really confusing hahaha. Maybe I need a coffee… excuse the shameless plug there, oh well why not.

It seems that it is now the time of night where I’m going to waffle on an exceptional amount and say hardly anything so its probably a really good idea to say my goodnights and wish you an exceptionally awesome weekend.  Hope to see some of you this Sat (that’s tonight).

Keep Rockin’ people and see ya at a gig sometime 🙂


PS:  Emma is bringing you lots of Brickfest previews on our facebook site, but here’s one of my own… an acoustic act that are playing The Acoustic Tent at BRICKFEST this year.  They are on at 5.30pm and I for one can’t wait to check out MORGANWAY in The Brickies garden!  Watch and see for yourself …

Happy New Year to you all. It seems the whole world and their friend are still recovering from the aftermath of Christmas and New Years Eve. We had a blast though, some fantastic gigs and it was nice to share the festive period with such lovely people. We wish you all the best for the coming year. On a pub note, its jam packed of awesome bands and music so make sure you fill your diaries. Our website is now up to date until the end of march so get planning! Just as the craziness from Christmas dies down I went and did it. Yes folks, another crazy idea (my last one ended up in us building B2) it was over the Christmas period whilst supping wine, chatting with friends and my other half that we come up with the notion of putting on a Christmas concert next year…. Then it all gets a bit blurry. I thought I would throw it out into the realms of cyberspace and catch some ideas. So there I was asking the world about what everyone thought about forming a Brickmakers Rock Choir? OMG! Why did I do that? Within an hour we had over 50 potential choir members. The phone started ringing, texts were flowing. I had started one hell of a snowball. I called Emma last night in a panic – I mean, I have been in bands, gigging since I was just 14, I’m no stranger to the stage or performing….but to teach 50+ people to sing together and also to listen to each other – how the hell does one do that? Sometimes it’s hard to pin my five band members down for a rehearsal let alone something of that magnitude. I began to silently panic. Emma was like ‘ you’re gonna have to do it now you’ve said it – people want this….’ Well clearly I have a lot to learn and I needed to learn it quick. I emailed a few musician friends for advice, one in particular who has calmed me with her tips and advice on how to run a choir (thanks so much Lauren – I owe you a pint or three). Her first tip was to pick songs at first that I know inside out. I need to know all the parts myself before I can teach them to others. Then there is the very small matter of recording the parts and making them available to members. After looking into choral music and arrangements I have discovered you can buy packs with the parts already arranged and recorded – only problem is they start at about £25 a song. We want to keep the choir a free activity for all so purchasing is not an option. So this afternoon, I sat and created a Facebook group for ‘The Brickmakers Rock Voices’. I’m not certain the name will stay but it will do for now. By tea time tonight we had 52 people signed up to the group and its still increasing! Talk about viral explosion! The next thing I did was to create an online poll. I’ve given all potential choir member five songs to choose from. They need to vote on just one song. After a couple of days I will access the results and the winning song will be the one we learn first. Then all I need to do is take a day off and record the parts… That will be fun I reckon… A whole new leading curve for me – I normally open my mouth and sing a harmony line, I don’t normally have to think about it. So – as soon as the parts are done, I’ll upload them onto the Facebook group and members can choose and download their part and learn it. The magic will hopefully happen when we meet up and make some noise. I reckon we shall have the first meeting within a month. We’ll see what happens from there. I’m sure I’ll cock it up many times along the journey but were all in it together. I’m not adverse to making a pratt of myself, in fact there are times i’ve truly excelled at it… Why the choir? Well I joined a choir temporarily last year for a Christmas concert and I loved every minute. Singing makes you feel good – whether you’re brilliant at it or naff at it. It releases endorphins in the brain which makes us all just as happy just as a bar of chocolate or a good roll in the hay does. Who wouldn’t want a bit of that???? When I looked into the choirs around the city, they all charge upwards of £6 a week. Well I think 24 quid a month is a lot of your hard earned money. I know that these choirs have to hire halls and stuff but we have an advantage in the fact that we have a venue already and because its ours – it’s free! so our choir will be free to attend. However we do expect members to commit their time and dedication in learning their parts at home. Most of the choirs in the city are singing all the same songs, we think we could spice it up a bit with a little more rock! Make it a bit less Glee and a bit more Queen. I love songs like ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, ‘Lean On Me’, ‘ Higher and Higher’ and ‘ Something Inside So Strong’ – they are all great classic tracks but every choir in the nation is singing them – let’s break the mould!!!! So I picked Fleetwood Mac, Status Quo, Survivor, Anastasia and Janis Joplin. I reckon there’s enough spice there to turn up the heat!!! When the choice is made I will record the parts and it shall begin! I feel a huge mixture of excited, nervous and absolutely petrified! What did I do??? Oh well, whatever happens I’m sure we’ll have fun- lets face it, if it goes tits-up we can all head to the bar!

So that’s about it for my news at the minute. here are a whole mixed bag of awesome bands on in the next month or so. One in particular for the diaries is Saturday 2nd March when the amazing ‘MAETLOAF & The Never Neverland Express’ return to our stage for their annual visit. If you like Meatloaf then you are gonna love these guys. I’ ve seen Meatloaf in concert and for me, these guys blew him away. This guy does Meatloaf better than Meatloaf does! it’s the most exciting night of my year….I suggest you all come down and party with us, you won’t be disappointed.

Right folks – it’s getting on a bit and I have music dots to dream of. If it’s anything like last night I think my nights of uninterrupted sleep are heading into very stormy seas. No Pain No Gain right? Don’t forget – if any of you want to take part in the choir – everyone is welcome – being able to sing a little is a help though. Go over to The Brickmakers Rock Voices facebook group and get involved now!!

This weekend – Friday we will be dancing to The Collective whilst Saturday see’s the city’s favourite contemporary rock band ‘Floating Greyhounds’ on our stage for the first time in 2013!

We look forward to seeing you….

Charley x