ONE of the brains behind a budding music scene says the show must go on after coronavirus.

Thom Milner-Smith, founder of Worthing promoter Atom Promotions, said the pandemic has been “devastating” for the town’s music business.

Its scene has made leaps and bounds in the past decade, including last year’s opening of 300-capacity venue The Factory Live, where Thom programmes gigs and comedians.

But the Worthing resident said the venue is not going anywhere and hopes the town’s cultural revival continues after the pandemic passes.

“In the Sixties and Seventies Worthing had all these huge names playing like Bowie, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, REM,” he said.

“In the past few years everything’s been coming together and Worthing’s an exciting place to be.

The Argus: The Factory Live opened in Worthing in SeptemberThe Factory Live opened in Worthing in September

“We opened The Factory in September and it was doing really well until we closed.

“We’re hoping to come back either in October or January.

“Long live The Factory, we’re not going anywhere.

“In the meantime we’re looking at doing some live-streamed concerts.”

Thom said the key to Worthing’s music revival has been individuals resisting the temptation to move to Brighton or London.

“There have been people like me who could have gone elsewhere but want to work here,” he said.

“Now a lot of people are moving from Brighton and London to Worthing.

“I know someone who’s recently moved back here from Brighton.

The Argus: The venue hopes to reopen in October or JanuaryThe venue hopes to reopen in October or January

“Worthing’s got the capacity to have a diverse scene.

“We opened because there was nowhere in the 300 capacity market.

“You’ve got Bar 42 with space for 100, then there’s us with 300.

“St Paul’s has got a capacity of 450, then there’s the Jungle nightclub which has 600.

“Then you’ve got the Pavilion and Assembly Hall as the larger venues.

“There’s still that gap for an 800-capacity venue which could be filled.

“But the music scene is really coming together.”

The Factory Live still hopes to host some big names including DJ Norman Jay, 84-year-old dub veteran Lee “Scratch” Perry, and Eighties rocker Toyah.

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