Simon Hollingworth, Manager of Lincoln Drill Hall which has just celebrated its sixth birthday
As the manager of an exciting business like the Drill Hall, what’s the best part of the job?
The best part of the job is on a busy night, when an event’s going really well, there’s a great atmosphere and everybody’s happy. There’s a real buzz about the place.
I’d have to say the most exciting aspect though is the programming, actually sitting down and putting together the schedule of events, because there’s such a diverse list of this to choose from which is great.
What would you say is the most challenging part of your role?
I’d say the most challenging part of the job is getting the balance right between being a cost- effective business and securing public interest, and also maintaining the image of an exciting diverse, cutting-edge hub of activity.
What’s planned in the future at the Drill Hall?
At the moment we’re spending time focusing on the business plan. We’ve been strengthening links with local businesses and cultivating our position as an exciting place to be, with lots going on and lots to offer.
We want to appeal to people, get them involved and try to break down that barrier or idea of ‘that’s just not for me’. We have such a varied range of cultural, entertaining events to offer people, there’s a little bit of everything.
What do you enjoy about living in Lincoln?
I love the fact that it’s small enough to walk around and yet big enough to have pretty much everything you might want (I’m not into shopping much!).
I love that I can walk into town in 10 minutes and yet be out on the bypass in five and on the A1 in around 20.
I love that I bump into people I know all the time.
I love that it’s something of a hidden gem and that when friends come to stay they are amazed by what we have here. (I actually quite like the slogan that the council used for a while: “steeped in history, brimming with life” – it sums it up quite nicely).
I love that there is absolutely loads going on (but I really hate when people moan about it as though it is a backwater where nothing happens).
I love the impact that the university has had on the city – more vibrant, more diverse and more tolerant.
Aside from the Drill Hall where is your favourite place in Lincoln?
The whole of the uphill area has to be a favourite – all around the cathedral and the castle is absolutely stunning, regardless of the weather and the time of year.
More than life itself I also love sitting outside the Vic on a sunny day with a pint of Landlord in my hand….
My garden’s not bad either!
Are there any particular events coming up this year at the Drill Hall that you are personally really looking forward to seeing?
The Fall of Man on 1st July – a piece of ‘micro theatre’ by Red Shift that I saw in Edinburgh last year that we are doing upstairs in our ‘Ruston Room’. Simple, emotional, brilliant theatre with superb naturalistic acting. I will definitely be watching it again.
In the autumn season we have some real crackers coming up including folk supergroup Bellowhead and a brilliant act called The Magnets who recently sold out The Roundhouse in London!