Plug-In Live is a quarterly event where young people showcase some of the Norwich music scene’s best young acts. 

Organised by The Garage Youth Forum, every genre is welcome – from indie to rap and pop to rock. Tonight’s gig features performances from The Garage’s Young Patron Finn Doherty with his alt-pop sound; rapper Edwxrd, indie punk / rock band Gozo and 1000 Frames.

The forum was launched to give young people a platform to make sure their voices are heard and to help find the arts leaders of tomorrow.

Adam Yaxley, Inclusion Lead at The Garage, said: “We’re trying to make the arts accessible and affordable to all. The young people are passionate about putting on music events, events that teach them key skills in the world of technical theatre and music production.

“More than that, they’re creating music opportunities for other young people to often showcase their music for the first time to an audience in a safe, family friendly environment.”

Youth Forum members met in the city first thing this morning to prep for tonight’s gig. They’ve spent the day setting up equipment, lighting and sound, liaising with artists, sorting feedback forms for the performers, the audience and much more. The event has been six weeks in the making, with each member taking on different roles.

Some acts contact the Youth Forum about playing, along with a snippet of them performing. Some are found by the members themselves. Some are suggested by Adam, who’s seen them busking on the city streets.

This is Maddy Jennings’ fourth year of being involved with Plug-In Live. She said: “It’s always a good time. The music scene in Norwich at the moment is pretty good.

The Youth Forum is one of the highlights of my week. It’s fun learning all the technical backstage aspects of an event. I know quite a few of the people in the forum who want to do that professionally or at college so it’s very good experience. I want to go into the media so I find the whole contacting people, writing about it more interesting than the technical side but there’s something for everyone to do.”

Charlotte Pember has been involved with Plug-In Live around two years.<

She said: “I don’t know what I want to do, so this gives me an extra option if I wanted to go into anything like this as I have those skills now. You also get to meet a lot of other young people, people you normally wouldn’t meet and make new relationships. I’ve gained a lot of confidence doing this.”

Doors open at 6.30PM tonight, the event starts at 7PM and ends at 9PM. It’s good value too, with a couple of hours of incredible local music costing whatever you can afford to pay on the door. The minimum donation is just £1 and all ages are welcome.

Plug-In Live is just one of many activities The Garage Youth Forum gets involved with. Members share their views on potential shows coming here. They recently attended a Youth Leadership in the Arts Conference in Lincoln.

“We were the only young people under 18 there and we talked to a room full of adults, arts professionals about what we do and how we think they can help young people in the arts. It was interesting to see what they thought and also a really good experience for us,” added Maddy.

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