The founder of a Bury St Edmunds music competition has expressed his pleasure that the competition is going from strength to strength.
Paul Johnson, 46, designed the BurySOUND competition for a universtiy project in 1997, with the first event being staged the following year.
The former student said it was his aim to create a music competition which promoted a variety of genres.
“Anything that involved something new was the starting point. It has become very eclectic, which is brilliant.
“At the time I was still fairly young, and I thought we needed something for the youngsters to do,” he said.
Self-employed DJ Paul has moved back to the Bury area after a stint as DJ manager at Rollerworld in Colchester.
Having previously worked as a DJ in Reflex nightclub (now Club Brazilia) and Rollerbury, he wished for BurySOUND to bring a different kind of music to the town.
“The idea was to move away from the DJ scene. Everything was about dance music and clubbing, but we also had Brit Pop going on,” he said.
“Back in the 90s there was no internet or social media to help start a music career.
“The competition was a good way of feeding into what was already happening in the Bury music scene.
“I never made any money out of it, but it was never about the money. It was about doing something positive.”
Paul admitted being suprised by the initial success of the competition, but is amazed by how it has grown.
“It’s a bit cliché, but I do think of it as another one of my children,” he said. “It is nice to see things last and grow.
“There’s a lot more to do here in the way of music now. It is great to know that Bury is still growing and happening.”