Published: 13:18, 29 October 2020
| Updated: 17:41, 29 October 2020
A music venue in Thanet is hosting immersive album listening sessions for small audiences, which will use specially-made drinks and complimentary smells to bring the music to life.
Thomas Ranger, a promoter who is also a programming manager at Dreamland in Margate , has teamed up with the Ramsgate Music Hall to bring a series of curated listening experiences to music fans and the musically-curious.
The events have been planned in lieu of traditional live performances, which cannot currently take place due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Each session has space for 18 people who will be seated and socially distanced from one another, with the seats sold in pairs and pods of four.
A free curated drink specially paired with the record will be given to each audience member, and the team will fill the room with a specific scent to compliment the feeling of the music.
Alongside the record will be a lighting show designed by Ed Warren, who has directed lighting for artists like Manic Street Preachers, Lilly Allen and Four Tet.
Thomas, who lives in Ramsgate, hopes the events can bring a semblance of the live music experience back to those who have missed watching bands and artists perform.
The 31-year-old said: "Due to Covid the venue's not been in action, so we just wanted to do something, because we can't do anything anywhere right now really without taking risk.
"With 18 seats it's not viable to pay an artist solid money without charging £50 a ticket or something, which is crazy."
After the record is played, they are hoping to provide enough space upstairs near the bar for the group to discuss the music and chat until the curfew comes into place at 10pm.
Thomas has previously organised club night events at the hall, featuring electronic artists such as Daniel Avery and Simian Mobile Disco.
The Sonic Wellness nights will begin with Radiohead's Kid A on November 7, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.
Future sessions will feature records from PJ Harvey, Mercury Prize 2020 winner Michael Kiwanuka and Nils Frahm.
Thomas said: "This wouldn't work in many places because you have to have a sound system that's up to spec to really crystallise it."
The majority of the tickets for the upcoming shows are already sold out, but Thomas is looking to put on some additional shows in December and in the new year.
Thomas is also planning to donate a portion of the ticket sales to the Thanet Iceberg Project, an organisation tackling poverty and social deprivation in the area.
He added: "To do something - when we haven't been able to do anything for ages - for £15, and it keeps the venue going, keeps these shows happening and also gives something to the charity I think is quite a fair price point."
The Ramsgate Music Hall was recently awarded funding from the government's Cultural Recovery Fund.
The cash will financially bolster them up to April 2021, whilst the usual packed live music events are still banned under social distancing guidelines.
Andre Dack, manager of the venue, said: "We're so desperate to be back, in any capacity, so it's a relief to be able to host events again.
"There's a limit to what you can do with such a small (and seated) audience, but Sonic Wellness is both ideal and appropriate.
"The response has been fantastic - huge credit to Tom for the idea and drive behind it."