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South Street Studios in Ipswich unveils new 80-capacity Smokehouse venue

PUBLISHED: 19:00 12 September 2016 | UPDATED: 16:23 20 September 2016

The Smokehouse, Ipswich's newest music venue at South Street Studios.

The Smokehouse, Ipswich's newest music venue at South Street Studios.

Archant

A music studio in Ipswich has unveiled its new 80-capacity venue which is set to boost live music for the community.

The Smokehouse, Ipswich's newest music venue at South Street Studios.The Smokehouse, Ipswich's newest music venue at South Street Studios.

South Street Studios opened the Smokehouse at the studio’s open day, and hosted a number of local artists to mark the launch.

The studio, which also runs community radio projects such as IO Radio and music workshops for youngsters, converted the derelict office space next to the studio after securing a £50,000 grant from Biffa in November.

Work started on the building in February. Joe Bailey, director of Out Loud Music, said: “It’s great because it can be used for anything from yoga and pilates, to live music and society or group meetings – it’s there to be as flexible as possible.”

Crucially, the 80-person capacity and intimate feel will act as a stepping stone for Suffolk bands and musicians to perform on a stage with dedicated sound technicians, outside of the town’s live music pubs.

Mr Bailey said: “It provides a different opportunity where music isn’t an afterthought.

“We are not a pub that can also do a bit of music – it’s a really good, small and intimate live music space.”

The venue will also be able to record live sets from bands performing there, and will also play host to touring bands, with first act lined up being Sam Duckworth – previously performing under the guise Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.

“It’s a venue and an asset to the community that’s accessible for everyone,” Mr Bailey added. “We are intending to work with as many people as we can from all walks of life and as a stepping stone working with other venues and Ipswich artists to create a really exciting scene.”

Open day success

At the studio’s open day, more than 200 people turned up to find out more about what the studio offers.

As well as live music performances by Brooches and Meg Burrows, visitors were able to find out about Ipswich Community Media and the IO Radio broadcasts, as well as Punch Studios which offers workshops in music and putting radio packages together.

Joe Bailey said: “It was very successful and we had a lot of new people through the door.

“It provides an opportunity to get involved in music and media regardless of background, finances or culture, and provide a venue without barriers that’s for everyone.”

To find out more about the workshops and projects at South Street Studios, visit www.southstreetstudios.org.

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