STATEMENT REGARDING COMEDY AT THE DRUM
March 10th, 2016 4:17 pm
The Drum would like to respond to the confusion that has arisen around Upfront Comedy and our plans for new comedy forms at The Drum. Upfront Comedy has enjoyed over 20 years at The Drum. It has been a great success and for many, the highlight of starting the weekend with friends and family whilst listening to some fabulous tunes and watching some great internationally known comedians.
We have known for over four years Birmingham has Europe’s largest under 16 population. Statistics and feedback suggests a growing demand from the 18 -24 age group for a range of offers at The Drum. As part of our annual review of programming we have explored how we can maintain loyal audiences whilst attracting new audiences. We tried to explore this vision with John Simmit and believed we had reached an understanding about the future of Upfront Comedy which was to return as soon as July but definitely no later than October. In short, the Arts and Marketing team would produce a short programme from April – June and then John would return with Upfront Comedy. We planned to monitor the new programmes model and together, with Upfront, make necessary adjustments to accommodate both. Therefore, his announcement on Friday came as a shock and surprise to us all. We’re sad and disappointed but respect John’s decision and would like to wish him well for the future. He has been more than a partner – he has been instrumental in the development of The Drum. From our humble beginnings over 25 years ago. John has been a constant feature in terms of helping getting us to where we are now and we will never forget that.
So, with John’s decision to move Upfront to new venues we will have to revisit our comedy vision. We are working on plans to introduce new comedy and cabaret formats which we hope to attract new audiences whilst making sure we have something for those audiences who have been loyal to the venue for many years. So watch out for news and updates on our website and social media regarding our comedy programme.
CEO, The Drum