Podcast: Counting the Cultural Cost of Venue Closures

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The UK music industry is estimated at £3.8 billion but there are growing concerns about the number of grass roots music venues that have been forced to close as night time industries are dogged by the challenges of rising business rates, town planning and complaints of noise and disturbance.

It is estimated that London alone has lost 40% of its small venues and 50% of its nightclubs over the past eight years. Fabric, the iconic London dance venue, was granted a reprieve earlier this week as Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced that it would re-open after its closure in August 2016. However, many venues are still struggling and audience numbers are shrinking year on year.

We invited a range of voices to meet and discuss the issues affecting not just London venues but the UK and the worldwide music industry as a whole in a wide ranging discussion. What sort of cities do we want to live in? What strategies can venues adopt to keep going? Do we respect the value of our music, arts and culture enough? And what will be the cultural cost of venue closures if this worrying trend continues unchecked? You can hear their thoughts in the podcast below.

In this podcast, Georgina Godwin is joined by: Jeff Horton, owner of the 100 Club on London’s Oxford Street – an iconic music venue that has fought closure over many years; Alan Miller, chairman and founder of the Night Time Industries Association – a group of club, pub and restaurant owners working together to champion the cultural capital these venues to bring to our towns and cities; and Jane Beese, Head of Music at the Roundhouse in Camden – a 3,000 capacity venue that hosts the likes of Radiohead but also opens its doors to the community through its development and education projects.