The Zap Club
At the centre of the Zap Club’s success was an innovative approach to programming that mixed high art and popular entertainment to create a unique experience for audiences, who grew to trust our judgement, taste and style. This trust gave us the freedom to programme acts and artists who were experimental and largely unknown.
The Zap also became a platform for programmers and producers who were a critical element in keeping the Zap at the leading edge of art and entertainment. Entrepreneurs were also welcome most notably Richard Paul-Jones who launched the Zap Cyber Cafe in 1996 UK’s 2nd ever Cyber Cafe. It was the first glimpse of the Internet for hundreds, maybe thousands of people who now could not function without it. If coming second is not quite up there, take pride in it being the first to close – and being first is always something to celebrate.
Since we had virtually no public funding and relied on the box office and the bar for income, there was little opportunity to commission the artists. This changed when we started receiving invitations to create programmes by other organisations who had sufficient funds to support commissioning and creative producing. We launched a new company, Zap Productions, to manage all the projects that took place outside the Zap Club. In 2010 Zap Productions evolved into the charity, Zap Art, led by Dave Reeves.
Here are a few links to articles:
A timeline of the Zap – My Brighton and Hove
The Zap Wiki
Gyrovageness – My Zap Years
The Zap Club night hosts final show at Hove Old Market – The Argus
There were several TV programmes made about the Zap. Here is one that focuses on the experimental art/entertainment mix with Arts Beat TV programme on the Zap with interviews with me, Helen Wells, Angie Goodchild and performances by Ian Smith, Steve Edgar, Paul Burwell, Sian Thomas, Jurgen Olbrich, Open Secret and Shaun Caton.
And another with a focus on fashion + a bit of the Wild Wigglers:
And a couple of recent interviews with me and Dave Reeves: