• Ste Dunn

Investing in Creativity

A huge thank you to the team at Northern Insight for featuring us in their December 2021 edition, covering our lockdown story and how we've used the last 18 months to accelerate our growth plan.

Read the story below, or download their latest edition

When the pandemic brought much of the entertainment and events industry to a standstill,

one North East company took it as an opportunity to expand.

From managing huge events to working closely with individual performers, there’s not much that premium entertainment providers ISG can’t do.

Formerly known as the i-Stage Group, the business specialised in providing entertainment to national and international companies whilst also managing and delivering large scale event experiences. However, when this ground to a halt during lockdown, ISG channelled their focus into business development and growth.

Dance auditions for ISG's Christmas productions.

And the entertainment experts have gone from strength to strength in recent years, developing the production side of the company to complement their events and talent divisions to work with more artistes than ever before.

A growing business needs the space to match, when the opportunity presented itself to take over the former Jupiter Centre at Sunderland’s NE BIC, The ISG Hub – a multi-functional creative space – was born.

With a full renovation due to be completed in 2022, the new building will include rehearsal rooms, state-of-the-art recording studios, media suites and a dance studio, along with meeting and conference rooms.

And while the Hub will benefit the artistes and production team working within the company, the organisation believes it will also be an invaluable asset for those in the arts and culture sector across the region.

A music studio at ISG Hub.

The ISG Talent roster includes many polished acts – offering everything from award winning vocalists to tribute artists at the top of their game – but it’s not only the established performers who benefit from their expertise.

From holding open audition events like Bridges Got Talent at a Sunderland shopping centre to building relationships with local colleges, ISG are also passionate about working hard to shine a spotlight on emerging talent.

Newly launched Platform North East is yet another example of this – a weeklong programme concentrating on equipping singer-songwriters with the skills and expertise they need to succeed in the industry. Supported by Arts Council England and the Culture Recovery programme, unsigned artistes aged 16 and over can gain valuable insight during sessions covering song writing, building an audience and developing a stage presence. The talented hopefuls will learn more about marketing themselves and how to use social media, along with the opportunity to compose and produce an original song in-house at the Hub.

And ISG are committed to helping artistes get their name out there at the end of it thanks to a partnership with Kycker, the country’s leading music distribution and publishing platform for new performers, which will help them distribute their work to online stores and streaming outlets.

Paul Waite (second left) with the ISG team.

Paul Waite, CEO of ISG, believes the company is the strongest it has ever been. “While lockdown was certainly a challenge, we did everything we could to continue working throughout and it has allowed us to plan for our accelerated growth and open up new opportunities for us to work with performers of all skill and experience levels,” he said.

“We have a really incredible team – which also grew during lockdown – with a hugely diverse pool of expertise between them, many of whom joined us specifically to push and develop our new ventures. “Entertainment isn’t an easy industry to get into which is why we believe in equipping performers with all the skills they need to navigate it, so that everyone who works with us has the best possible opportunity for success going forward and our customers and clients

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