When those behind Fisher Gate Point first obtained the keys to the building in February 2020, they could hardly imagine the disruption they would face less than a month later.
15 months later and the events and music industry was hit hard during the pandemic, but Fisher Gate Point seeking to capture “the sound of Nottingham” has been working hard to help creatives across town find their place .
Focusing on underground music, the city’s arts center located in a former bus depot on Fishergate Point is still being redeveloped indoors – another project put on hold with the pandemic – but studios and a performance space have been set up to get things done.
Big local artists – including DJ Lukas Wigflex who has his own studio, Bru-C and Snowy – have already caused a stir at the arts center where around three albums were recorded during the lockdown.
Avarni Bilan, partner and creative consultant behind the project, spoke to Nottinghamshire Live about what the hub aims to achieve.
She said: “Due to Covid a lot of the construction work that we had planned here has been put on hold, so we have a gradual opening up instead to continue using the space.
“We try to encapsulate a wide range of artists who don’t always play Notts and come from a wide variety of backgrounds.
“The building currently has two recording studios and a large performance space and we also have offices and breakout rooms here. There are still a few more spaces here to fill if people are interested.
“We opened it up to our artist network as soon as we could during the pandemic. Bru-C shot a clip here, Emmanuel House used it to do a campaign shoot and the artists used the Wigflex studio. .
“Three albums have been created there since the lockdown and it’s mostly artists linked to Wigflex who use it. So much has happened even though we haven’t officially opened yet.
“There are places in the city for great commercial artists to perform, but there is nothing like it in the city. It’s one of a kind.
“There doesn’t seem to be any other place in town to cultivate the underground scene and Lukas and I have been trying to do this for years.”
Avarni forms half of the team behind Wigflex with his partner Lukas, who has been running Wigflex for 15 years in Nottingham which had its first festival 2019.
A graduate of Nottingham Trent University, Avarni added that she has always wanted to stay in Nottingham and get involved in the music scene here.
She added: “We got more into electronic music, hip-hop and the growing Nottingham grime scene. It’s a very distinctive sound in the city and artists like Snowy who stand up for it as a whole. new sound.
“We have a great opportunity to try and capture a distinct sound from Nottingham, which is also a key focus of the Wigflex Festival.
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“It’s not just about having a space for artists to come and use the equipment, we support them a lot more, from their social media presence, to financial advice and the like, because they basically run their own businesses. .
“This is also the reason why I started Fly Girl last year, an organization that connects women in a network.”
A series of paid events, called Summer Sessions, were organized as the first art hub events for the public. The first will take place on July 24 and will see performances by artists such as Lukas Wigflex, Craig Richards, SNO and Young Marco.
This is ahead of the Wigflex City Festival on October 9, where the venue has yet to be confirmed, but organizers are confident it will take place this year.
Sherwood-based photographer Charlotte Jopling is a designer who got involved with Fisher Gate and received support.
The 31-year-old, who runs photography business Studio Anicca, said: “I work with a lot of arts organizations and do photography for Fisher Gate Point and Wigflex. I photographed one of their last holidays in February 2020 before the lockdown.
“I have also documented Fisher Gate Point as the building changes over time.
“It’s an incredible network of support from people with so much experience. Music is of course at the center of our concerns, but I was able to find work there and get help accessing grants for the arts.
“There is a deep passion there for the creative arts. I have seen people thrive and become more confident just by being there.”
To get in touch with Space Usage at Fisher Gate Point, visit his Instagram (@fishergatepoint) or his website fishergatepoint.com.