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Meet the DJ behind Norwich’s sell-out Basement Sessions

But now one DJ claims to have brought the scene “back from the brink”.

During the pandemic, Harry Thompson, 21, from Brundall, dropped out of his sports science course at the University of Essex in order to pursue his dream of becoming a DJ, buying his decks and other equipment with the remainder of his student loan.

But after teaching himself to DJ he realised there were few opportunities to perform in Norwich after many club nights promoting local talent had fallen victim to Covid.

Norwich Evening News: Crowds at a Basement Sessions nightCrowds at a Basement Sessions night (Image: Harry Thompson)

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Rather than packing it all in and returning to university, Mr Thompson decided the best way forward would be to create his own club night.

Alongside his friend, Tyler Ponsford, he created Basement Sessions, holding his first event at Gringos in Prince of Wales Road, but the event was not well-received at first.

Norwich Evening News: Basement Sessions founder Harry Thompson with drum and bass artist Jacob DonoghueBasement Sessions founder Harry Thompson with drum and bass artist Jacob Donoghue (Image: Harry Thompson)

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Mr Thompson said: “When I dropped out of uni I had no direction really, I just taught myself to DJ, but the nightlife scene was dead.

“There were no opportunities for local upcoming talent other than the big events with famous DJs playing.

Norwich Evening News: Basement Sessions nights have been selling out across the cityBasement Sessions nights have been selling out across the city (Image: Harry Thompson)

“Our first event at Gringos wasn’t really a success, the turnout wasn’t amazing, but from there on we realised we could do it.”

Basement Sessions then moved on to Space Studios in Swan Lane, where its fortunes changed with the pair selling out six nights in a row.

Mr Thompson added: “We’ve created a great community, we’ve got a Whatsapp group with about 50 people in it and most of them are DJs.

“It’s provided a great opportunity for DJs who wouldn’t normally get the chance to show what they can do.

“There’s always been a Norwich scene, but it’s always been big budget and big names, we’re giving actual people from the city with a passion for drum and bass to do what they love.”

Mr Thompson is now looking to expand into larger venues as his nights continue to sell out, with the next event planned for Bedfords Crypt next on September 9.


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