Venue toasts 10,000 ticket autumn season

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A FLAGSHIP music venue is celebrating a busy opening season after shifting more than 10,000 tickets.

The Apex, in Bury St Edmunds, opened in October and has put on an eclectic mix of music and live performance since.

The ‘Sound Check Season’ gave organisers a chance to assess how best to run the venue and they have been hailing it as a success.

Tony Doherty, venue director, said: “The idea of a soundcheck season was to test, trial and tweak all the operational aspects of the building, ironing out any problems in the first three months of opening.

“We’re delighted that local people have voted with their feet and have already enjoyed several sell-out shows in this beautiful venue.”

The autumn schedule began with the BurySound competition and continued with highlights including Steve Harley and Julian Lloyd Webber.

Mr Lloyd Webber’s orchestra director called the venue one of the best they had played in Europe.

Alongside the music, The Fat Cat Comedy Club has consistently sold out and events as diverse as chess tournaments and a catwalk show have taken place.

Plans for 2011 include performances from Elkie Brooks, the James Taylor Quartet, The Blues Band, Funeral for a Friend and the Creole Choir of Cuba.

There will also be Bury’s own dance event with Strictly Come Bury St Edmunds, featuring performances from local community groups plus a fair sprinkling of folk and classical music.

The Fat Cat Comedy Club continues its performances and the Voice Squad makes a welcome return.

The Apex relies on funding from St Edmundsbury Borough Council for much of its running costs. The council will provide £657,500 over the venue’s first three years.

The cost of building the venue was £18.5 million.