Hockley Hustle to Supercharge Music Careers

They start 'em young in Nottingham. Pic: Tom Morley

Nottingham’s Hockley Hustle is set to be the biggest ever with the introduction of an industry day to supercharge the careers of homegrown talent ahead of the main event taking place Sunday 22 October 2023.

It’s all part of the festival’s ethos to showcase the creative scene in the city and help develop the artists and promoters that make the festival – which has been supporting local charities since 2006 –  a massive success each year.

The Hustle has curated an impressive line up of national and international music industry professionals to deliver the free to access programme of workshops, 1-to-1 artist surgeries and panel talks on all the essentials for building a career in the music industry.

The industry day takes place on Saturday 21 October at Antenna and Rough Trade, with confirmed participants including BBC Introducing’s Dean Jackson, Jake Bugg’s manager Jason Hart, BBC 6 Music,  and New York hip hop producer Large Professor, plus many more while the partnership with Spotify continues with the music discovery platform holding artist surgeries. Open to all, keep an eye on socials for the schedule.

Once again, the festival itself will be a huge party featuring more than 350 local artists for a packed day of music and entertainment on Sunday 22 October across 30 venues including Rough Trade, Angel, Bodega, Jamcafé, Hockley Arts Club and newcomers MESA, Pelican Club and The G.O.A.T. A limited number of super early bird tickets have been released, available for £10 plus booking fee from Gigantic.

With continued support from It’s In Nottingham, the festival is once again providing free tickets to low income families. 20 Ukrainian families and 10 families working with the local Refugee Forum were able to enjoy the festival’s Young Hustlers last year thanks to the initiative.

Alex Flint, CEO, It’s in Nottingham, said: “Nottingham’s music and cultural scene is known and loved, and rightly so, as we’re home to diverse new talent and household names in the world of music and the arts. As the organisation which promotes Nottingham city centre to residents and visitors, sponsoring Hockley Hustle again this year made absolute sense – it’s a unique celebration of all things creative, vibrant, and fun in the city and recognises and gives back to local communities too – both great reasons to get excited, and to feel proud of Nottingham.”

This year will also see the development strand for fledgling promoters continue with a call out for participants who will be paired with mentors thanks to the support of Arts Council England. The promoter-mentorship scheme is already building an impressive legacy with  a number of last year’s cohort now employed by the Hustle and others going on to stage their own events.

Promoter and mentor Rasterella said: “This kind of scheme is important for any town or city because without the live music scene, you’re missing out on a whole spectrum of creativity. A mentorship programme like this gives hope, both to the veteran promoters like myself and to give the enthusiasm and the fire, the passion, advice and guidance to the up and coming promoters and event organisers so that we pass on the baton.”

The festival donates ticket income, with other funds coming from sale of merchandise and T-shirts. Over the last 15 years, Hockley Hustle has raised more than £200,000 for charity. This year, the festival will be once again donating to five local charities: Imara, Base 51, Emmanuel House, B’Me Cancer Communities, and SFiCE Foundation.

Rosie Needham-Smith of Emmanuel House said: “We’re really excited to be involved in Hockley Hustle for another year. The event raises vital funds that will contribute to the running of our support centre, which provides support for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. We rely on the support of our community to continue this work and we’re so grateful to the whole Hockley Hustle team for joining us in tackling homelessness in Nottingham.”

The festival is supported by Arts Council England, It’s in Nottingham, Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, Nottingham City Council City Centre Business Growth Department and Hockley Helles.

Line up announcements and the Young Hustlers programme will be coming soon. hockleyhustle.co.uk