Between August 2019 and January 2020, always possible conducted a piece of research with young people, promoters, venues, musicians and audiences across Worthing, West Sussex.
The study’s aims were to
- explore the perceived disparity between supply and demand for live music in Worthing (especially in contemporary urban/electronic genres) to inform future planning
- find out whether the town’s changing population presents new opportunities for scene, audience and talent development
- find out whether Worthing’s existing infrastructure is adequate or likely to be able to maximise such opportunities
This review was co-commissioned by AudioActive (with support from Arts Council England) and Worthing Borough Council.
AudioActive delivers a growing programme of grass roots talent development and increasingly, social innovation projects across the borough. They identified that the impact/success of their future work in the area will be heavily dictated by the extent to which a vibrant contemporary local music scene can inspire and create authentic progression pathways for young people and emerging artists. AudioActive sees significant potential for scene development in Worthing.
The coronavirus pandemic has bulldozed through Worthing’s night-time economy, putting venues at risk of closure and disrupting every aspect of the wider creative eco-system. However, as audiences, artists and nights out return in 2021 and beyond – so will investment. And the summary of our findings below might help create a blueprint for the work of AudioActive and others in leading an exciting and ambitious new music scene in one of the UK’s emerging cultural hotspots.