Norwich Arts Centre has been named Britain’s Best Small Venue by NME in association with Jack Daniel’s.
The 290 capacity venue, situated in a renovated church in the city centre, beat competition from the 10 other venues on the shortlist for this year’s award.
Following last month’s announcement of the final 11, thousands of votes were cast by NME and NME.com readers, with the Norfolk venue coming out on top. A well-loved and lively fixture on the national touring circuit more than 30 years after first opening its doors, the venue has hosted early gigs by artists including Nirvana, Oasis, The Libertines and The Stone Roses.
Speaking to NME about the venue’s victory, venue director Pasco-Q Kevlin said: “As a venue it’s something that the city loves. Artists love it too, because it’s intimate. The stage is almost half the floor space, so it’s a real upfront experience for an audience and for a band. It’s a bit belt-and-braces, but it’s special.”
Recently, Norwich Arts Centre has hosted gigs by artists including The Wytches, Black Lips and Tinariwen. Half of this year’s Mercury Prize nominees – including the winners Young Fathers – stopped off there on their various tours. “One of our programmers pointed out Young Fathers to me,” said Kevlin, “and their show here was definitely a recent stand-out performance.”
NME and Jack Daniel’s will be hosting a free gig with a mystery headliner to celebrate Norwich Arts Centre’s win. Check back on NME.com later this afternoon to find out who will be playing the show.
Previous winners of NME’s annual award for Britain’s Best Small Venue in association with Jack Daniel’s include Southampton Joiners (2013) and Tunbridge Wells Forum (2012).
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