Local talent helps reinvigorate Cleethorpes pier at hugely popular acoustic night
THE MAN in charge of live events at the pier started his campaign to "take back" the venue so it can be enjoyed by "ordinary, decent people" with a line-up of local celebrities.
Richard Dutton, live events manager at the pier, now known as The Pavillion, held his first big event at the weekend, an acoustic night with the leads from some of the biggest local bands in recent history.
More than 150 music lovers turned out to see seven singer songwriters, including Orphan Boy's Rob Cross and Leon Blanchard, formerly of the Brightlights and Venacava.
Mr Dutton left Cleethorpes eight years ago to live in Manchester, where he played with his band The So and So's, but returned to his hometown this year.
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"I've been in Manchester and London but after a month back here, I think that this town has more talent than the two cities put together," said Mr Dutton.
The new promoter hopes to restore the venue back to its glory days after its reputation has slipped over the years.
"This part of the pier was shut on a Friday and Saturday night when I came back, which shocked me," he said.
" The thing is that not many normal people would have noticed as you would never dream of coming in here because there were always weird dance nights and you might get your head punched in.
"Seven acoustic artists on a Saturday night shouldn't work but is has, and I think it shows that there are ordinary, decent people who want to enjoy this venue.
"I want to bring it back to everyday use, with a wide variety of events, including comedy, more live music and community stuff – it's a sort of triangular approach."
Kirsty Channon, 23, of North Thoresby, said: "There aren't enough decent bars in Cleethorpes and the ones that we do have play the same Saturday night playlist of pop and dance music, every week. It's a really great venue and I think that if they hold regular events like this, it will get busier and busier over time."
Music lover Robert Femwick, 23, of The Cresta, Grimsby, added: "It's great to be able to come to the pier and listen to good music and have a laugh. There's a great atmosphere here."
Singer songwriter Morris, who performed at the gig, said: "The event has been great and if it became a regular thing, it will be great for the music scene and for artists but also for all the people who love live music.
"I believe that tonight could be the beginning of something beautiful."
Performer Sam Simmons, 23, from The Accord, said: "The atmosphere has been great – I had no idea there were so many people that would turn out for an acoustic night like this.
"They seemed to really enjoy the set which was a shock to me. I would love to come back with the band to do a bigger set."