Agency brewing up a plan to showcase local talent

Paul Waite of the IStage Group and Paul Hughes, founder of Black Storm Brewery

A NORTH EAST talent agency which has helped performers work around the world has teamed up with a leading brewery to help would-be entertainers get a break.

Sunderland-based IStage Group, based at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), is a nationally renowned production company which provides creative solutions to everyone from holiday companies to top venues.

And now they have launched an innovative scheme with Blackstorm Brewery, to give musicians the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of a live audience.

Paul Waite, CEO of ISG, has been involved in the entertainment industry since his teenage years, and now heads up an organisation which combines high quality production, musical talent, technology and creative management support to offer a one-stop-shop to anyone looking for an “entertainment experience.”

ISG’s latest project sees the company working with Black Storm Brewery which, along with creating unique beers and events, also has its popular taproom at the Royal Quays in North Shields – which ISG will be offerings to performers for paid-for slots.

The Tap Room has an external beer garden which can house up to 200 guests and hosts live music, with the aim of using the facility as a way of giving musical talent a place to perform.

Paul Hughes, founder of Black Storm Brewery, believes this is a great opportunity for both the venue and anyone trying to get into the industry.

“I knew all about the fantastic work that Paul and ISG does and how they are committed to nurturing new talent in the North East,” he said.

“And we were also very aware that people who are desperate for that first break might go and perform but get nothing for it.

“What we are now planning to do is work with Paul to identify that talent, give them the opportunity to perform in front of an audience and get paid for it.”

The scheme fits well with the Black Storm Brewery ethos, which sees them support a range of community activities which includes a project aimed at helping people build a career in catering.

It also partners with the values of ISG, which is building a huge creative hub in Sunderland and is firmly committed to employing homegrown talent and using local venues.

“The Tap Room is a fantastic place and this is a really amazing opportunity for new performers to cut their teeth,” said Paul.

“We look forward to a long and happy relationship with Paul and everyone at the brewery.”

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