South London’s Nightlife under Threat

As many of you may have read Fabric has been closed down in Farringdon. Fabric was an absolute institution and one of the best nightclubs not just in London but arguably in Europe. However, this is not just a problem faced by the super clubs, but also by smaller local haunts, as local councils give into pressures of property developers offering large amounts of money for the space occupied by these establishments. This is a problem which is now being faced by many clubs in south London.

If you follow us on Twitter you’ll have seen us post petitions to help support clubs that are being faced with this fate. One club mentioned was 414 in Brixton; this all night institution has been there for over 30 years operating under different names and styles. If you have been there recently, it is home to the house and techno community and would be a huge loss to Brixton nightlife.

Halloween Night at 414 Brixton

Halloween Night at 414 Brixton

Another place threatened is Canavan’s Pool Bar in Peckham, which hosts a variety of nights including karaoke on Wednesday and Sunday nights. It really is a great little place which doesn’t try to be at all pretentious and welcomes a wide array of customers. Again they have received threats from the council regarding their right to host late night music events. The list is endless and even major clubs such as Ministry of Sound and Electric Brixton may be facing similar battles in the near future.

One club that appeared to have lost the battle to survive is The Coronet at Elephant & Castle, which can trace its history as a theatre, cinema and night club way back to 1879.  It was due to close in January next year after an unsuccessful campaign against its redevelopment as part of the shopping centre, but news is just in of a reprieve of one year, so watch this space.  However, many others have already closed – see the list below.

The Former Bon Bonne Club in Herne Hill

RIP the Bon Bonne, Herne Hill – closed 2005 for property development

The question now is what can be done to stop the mass closure of clubs throughout London. One way some pubs have used is by listing themselves as Assets of Community Value through The Localism Act 2011. However, this is only able to bide time and does not completely protect the venue. The new mayor Sadiq Khan has vowed to protect London’s night-time economy and plans to appoint a night tsar, who will do more to promote and protect London’s nightlife. In the case of Fabric though, it transpired that Khan did not actually have any power over the situation, as the licensing authority is the local borough, Islington, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.  We’ll put links to any petitions to save night clubs on Twitter – please sign them as everything helps when it comes to defending the nightlife that contributes to making this city so great.  (Sign the Coronet petition here).

Salsa in full swing

Salsa night at the DNA Club (formerly Wessex House) Clapham Junction – closed earlier this year

Some of the clubs lost to south London nightlife include:  Bon Bonne – Herne Hill, Cable, SE1 and Crucifix Lane – all London Bridge, DNA Club – Clapham Junction,  Hidden  and Area – both Vauxhall.

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