Feel good at The Foundry
Music brings more people together than perhaps any other art form and really shapes a feel-good place. In the first of a series of features, The Shorely looks at the venues and people that are making sweet music in the Bay. Let us introduce you to The Foundry: an independently owned venue down in Torquay that’s igniting the local scene with local artists and big name sell-out shows.
Since opening in April 2017, The Foundry’s local and national reputation has grown as both a place to go see emerging talent and huge names from the music world. Here at The Shorely, we celebrate this creatuve entrepreneurial spirit… and the blood, sweat and tears it takes to fill a venue week in, week out. We spoke with Luke Hill from The Foundry to find out more:
Q. What type of events do you put on at The Foundry?
A. As a multipurpose venue we put on all kinds of events, from white collar boxing to live bands, we are mainly club focused, but there are lots of private parties that happen behind the scenes too. There’s always something exciting happening here… or on its way. We have one hell of a year lined up for 2019 not to mention a fantastic close to the year with numerous large events this December. Being a large venue with high production values, we really have the scope to accommodate almost anything!
Q. What’s the process for picking artists and acts to come to your venue?
A. We really try to accommodate for the tastes of the locals as much as we can. We love hearing from our community and try and push forward with the requests they make. At the end of the day, without the fantastic support we receive for the range of events we put in, we wouldn’t be here. So we have these amazing people to thank!
Q. You’ve had some massive names come through, like Chase & Status, Krept & Konan - just to name a few - what do the acts think about Torquay? Do they enjoy coming to this area to perform?
A. We have never had a bad complaint from artists who come and play for us; we even know numerous acts who have come down again on holiday after seeing what the Bay has to offer, especially in summer. Many are very shocked to find such an incredible venue hidden away in South Devon. Many are blown away by the venues visuals and lights and of course, give full credit to the fact that the Torquay crowds know how to party! We’ve had artists that have enjoyed playing their sets so much they played for an extra 30 minutes… anyone in the industry knows this is a massive credit as set times usually are pin sharp on timings.
Q. If you could have any person to perform at The Foundry, dead or alive, who would it be?
A. I can’t speak for the rest of the team, but it would be a cross between some of my top all-time artists. I think many people would go for the scope of having the opportunity to have artists resurrected for a performance, but I much rather go down the avenue of living ones. They are Nas and Red Hot Chilli peppers, I’ve been more than fortune to see them both live already, so I would be equally happy with either playing and would have to flip a coin. It’s a bit of a hint at my music tastes as it's rather broad.
Q. How do you incorporate the local music scene when these renowned acts come down to perform?
A. We generally try and keep opportunities as fair as possible, we reach out to local artists that are pulling a lot of weight, and we also listen to all of the mixes sent in. You will see from many previous line-ups that at least two locals tend to be supporting. It’s a two-way street and tends to be the start of a good relationship. Both parties benefit, locals gain experience and get to support worldwide known artists, and we get to fill slots while supporting the community.
Q. Since opening, how have the crowds and attendance changed - would you say you’re igniting the local music scene?
A. I think it’s fantastic that The Foundry puts a lot of risk on the line to make fantastic large events happen, so locally it gives many the opportunity to experience nights that they never would be able to have or without the expense of travelling elsewhere in the UK. We believe the longer we’re running, the stronger a venue we are going to become. This is especially true with next years plans. We can say we’re happy with where we are at now, but there is always room for improvement. We envision a future where we can be open more often with higher attendance levels. This will be a continuous cycle… as it means more large-scale events can take place; this why it’s always good to support local business. This year, compared to last, has seen all kinds of changes in attendance for numerous reasons, but we stick our head down and try to provide the best events we can at the most suitable timings, so yes we say we are at the forefront at igniting the music scene locally.
Q. Since opening, what has been a significant highlight moment for the club?
A. We have hit full capacity a fair few times, and they are always magical nights, as it’s incredible seeing so many people having such a great time. For many Chase and Status was a huge night, but from balloon drops and confetti cannons on New Year's Eve to Burn It Down Festival and intense boxing events… what’s incredible about the Foundry is there’s always something for someone to enjoy.
Q. What would you say to people who say there’s “nothing to do in Torbay”?
A. That they need to keep more in-touch with what’s going on! It’s easy to become blind to the fantastic things happening on your doorstep compared to when you travel elsewhere and are on the lookout, but sometimes you don’t need to look further than the harbour! We have had people visit from the depths of Cornwall, from getting flights to our event from Scotland and even abroad too… they are always blown away at the venue and performances. Our local community should just come and take full advantage of what we have to offer.
Q. What is the goal for The Foundry and do think you’re achieving or have you achieved it?
A. There are many things we want to achieve, it’s no easy task, but we’re on the right path. We’re happy that at the end of the day we have recurring customers, as well as appealing to new ones all the time too. The ultimate goal is to use the fact we have an incredible multi-purpose venue right in the heart of Torquay. Any part we can play in making Torquay a better place to live and visit seems worthwhile to us.
Q. What have you got planned in 2019?
A. In two words: a lot. We can’t say much as events have to be released when all parties agreements have been met, but it’s going to be one BIG year.
Q. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A. Just the fact that we’re super grateful to everyone that comes and supports the venue, including of course platforms like The Shorely, who are trying to help expose the great things we’ve all got to offer. We have to give a big shout out to those who come and party and attend events at The Foundry! Without you we wouldn’t be here. The owners, employees, and contractors all do a fantastic job at trying to better the last event and drive a fresh live music scene in Torquay.
The Foundry will take Torbay by storm with performances from Wilkinson and Shift Key before the end of the year. Already announced for 2019 is Skepsis and the highly anticipated Foreverland: Enchanted Forest Rave in Torquay. For more information about tickets, visit The Foundry’s website. For a limited time we’re offering a ticket giveaway to Wilkinson’s performance on the 22 December; head over to our Facebook to enter.