Synth East 2024

We did it again. I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to do anything as perfect as the first one in 2023, but somehow it was just as good. Something tells me that we’ve landed on the right balance of gear and performance, music making and synth fiddling, size and location. The people that come along are brilliant, and it’s become such a great event of community and appreciation of everything that makes electronic music awesome.

Here are your highlights from Synth East 2024 over the 23rd, 24th and 25th of February.


Friday was a new idea. We wanted to try to offer something different to the Saturday Expo and performances. So we went with the UK premier of a fascinating documentary on Morton Subotnik. That was followed by the hilarious and surprising interview of Steve Davis by the extraordinary Adam Buxton, who is a local lad and patron of the Norwich Arts Centre. It all finished off with beer in the bar and music supplied by Luke Sanger.

Saturday Expo

The format for Saturday was the same as last year, where we filled the auditorium with manufacturers showing their latest synths and modular. We had increased the ticket numbers to 200 from 150 the year before, and it still sold out well in advance. It was busy, but I think we got the numbers right this time.

We had 26 manufacturers represented and 5 local groups and community contributors. Korg filled the foyer again, and this year, Source Distribution filled the bar.

During the morning we had performances from Hardwired and Tristan Burfield.

And then, in the afternoon, we had the legendary Patch Off! The idea is that you get a bunch of modular performers together, pick a pair of names out of a hat and make them improvise a performance. It’s scary, fun and thoroughly entertaining. This year, we had Steve Davis, Gaz Williams, Nina Richards, Jason Jervis, Mylar Melodies and myself (Robin Vincent).

Saturday Gig

The Saturday night kicked off with another improvised performance. This time, it was a full 30 minutes, and Gaz and Mylar joined me on stage.

That was followed by a sublime set from Ultra Marine and then Blancmange as the main event, with our friend Finlay Shakespeare reworking the hits with his superb modular expertise.


Sunday was different, low key and actually really nice. We decided to have some DIY workshops where a handful of people could make a module under the supervision of Befaco and Thonk. I was there at the Electronic Sound HQ making tea and fiddling with my modular while people soldered and relaxed after a rather full weekend.

Workshops are often folded into the chaos of an expo whereas we found that having them separate gives them a much better vibe and life of their own. We’ll definitely do that again next year.

Looking to 2025

The 2024 Synth East was such a great time that, of course, we’re already thinking about 2025. We have a date, the weekend of the 21st to 23rd of February, and lots of ideas. I’m so glad that Synth East wasn’t a one-off, that its success wasn’t a fluke and that people are genuinely interested in coming to something small and fabulous in Norwich. It is such a wonderful thing to be involved in, and I feel mightily privileged to be part of it.