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Here at Olby’s we have a fantastic team. Meet them all below…

Having spent all of his working life in the music business either performing, writing, producing or teaching music tech, Eli moved to Margate and has overcome a multitude of obstacles to create arguably the best known, independent live music venue in the area.

Eli has spent the last 18 years developing the music venue and business premises while supporting the development of young musicians through the provision of a live music performance space, developing young music enthusiasts into professional promoters through the creation of a promoter partnership. He established four music festivals from scratch which are now annual events in the area and grow exponentially year on year.

The festivals, which continue to boost the local economy through economic challenges have survived through the sheer determination of Eli and all were funded and underwritten by Olby’s Soul Café & Music Rooms until 2019. In 2019 the CIC secured funding from Arts Council England for Margate Street Festival – a trend which we hope to continue.

Eli is the director of the CIC and leads from the front. The Creative Hub was born out of his vision and determination. He will give direction and impart a clear vision to his immediate team and during the first year all decisions will be referred to him in order to keep the message and path both consistent and focussed.

Heather is business partner and general manager of Olby’s Soul Café and has worked alongside Eli for the last 30 years, both in the music industry and as a restauranteur.

Having developed the business’ hospitality and catering offer as one of the most in-demand and acclaimed local restaurants, her award winning #bestroastonthecoast sets the standard which others wish to emulate.

Heather also heads up our HR department and is a key decision maker in all aspects of safety, safeguarding and staffing.

Clare landed in Margate seven years ago having raised her family and pursued a successful career as a TV Producer in London. She was keen to find a project that would involve her in her new hometown, make use of her skill set and work with the community.

After a chance meeting with Eli and hearing his vision for the community and town-wide events in Margate, she was hooked and is now our CIC Manager.

Clare will be the link between the community and the CIC; she is a firm believer in collaborative working partnerships and wants to establish links with other like-minded organisations to work with Olby’s CIC, to grow the opportunities for young people in Margate and the surrounding areas.

Matt, DJ and worldjamglobal internet radio entrepreneur, provides his vast experience in studio production, technical installations and streaming to the CIC to manage our channels, content and equipment maintenance. Having spent two years volunteering across various departments and providing his unique personality to run a series of club events he now has settled into the role and guides us on all aspects of our tech, streaming and video services.

Having grown up in Thanet, Phil has first hand knowledge of Margate and the challenges faced by its young people. Through sport he has dedicated the last 25 years to creating opportunities for young people in the area to enable them to fulfill their ambitions. His passion for music has led to him become our venue facilitator and programmer, drawing on the expertise and experience of Eli.

Phil is now tasked with co-ordinating our calendar and ensuring our facilities provide an eclectic mix of music, performance and other art forms and to provide the opportunity for other creatives, promoters and community groups to experiment with their art forms, allowing them to take shape within our creative spaces.

Kuda Mararike is a final year Bsc(Hons) Marketing student at Christ Church Canterbury University.

After carrying out some work experience at Olby’s, the management team identified him as a young person with great potential and have offered him a part time work placement during his final year at Olby’s, working closely with the communications team to manage the social media aspect of the CIC.

Prior to moving to Margate Marcia Martin-McNeil worked in the corporate banking sector; she has wide business experience and a diverse skill set.

Utilising this knowledge and experience Marcia manages all communications for both the not-for-profit Community Interest Company as well as Olby’s commercial interests. Marcia is responsibility for press releases, newsletters, mail shots and public relations.

She will further establish relationships with local press and radio in order to publicise the Creative Hub and all that it offers as well as the events and festivals for Olby’s.

Marcia has worked for Olby’s on a voluntary basis for the last three years, actively canvassing local businesses for support of our festivals and raising the profile and awareness of the CIC.