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Halting venue closures is a 'total priority' says new London night czar

Laura  Barnes
Halting venue closures is a 'total priority' says new London night czar

Amy Lamé, London’s newly appointed night czar, has outlined the importance of halting closures of the capital's music and entertainment venues.

Speaking to MI Pro sister publication Music Week, Lamé said she is making the issue ‘a total priority’.

On the subject of safeguarding the future of live music venues and nightclubs, Lamé said: “It’s probably the greatest issue that people have brought up in terms of what’s affecting London nightlife. I’m making it a total priority. I will be bringing my wealth of knowledge of running a club and being a part of the campaign to save the Royal Vauxhall Tavern to the role and carrying that across the rest of the capital. One of the big challenges I’ll have as night czar is to stem that flow, but it’s a challenge I’m fit and ready to fight for.”

Her appointment was announced by London mayor Sadiq Khan last week at the iconic 100 Club, where he spoke about the detrimental effects venue closures have on the public, saying: “Think about all the great artists not being inspired because of clubs and venues closing down.”
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The mayor told Music Week: “It’s worth reminding ourselves that in the last five years we’ve lost 40% of live music venues. Look at the 100 Club; not just the great bands that have performed here and inspired others, but also the small bands who perform here on a daily basis.

“We have examples of developers building flats next door to a venue, people move in and complain about the noise, then the council says to the venue that they have to noise insulate their premises. They can’t afford to, so they sell up. One of the ideas we looked at is the agent of change principle, where if you want to build something next to a live music venue YOU have to pay for the noise insulation rather than the venue.”

Lamé is no stranger to campaigning to save venues, she is co-founder of a club-night and performance collective Duckie, which runs every Saturday night in The Royal Vauxhall Tavern – a venue that was recently saved from closure following a campaign led by Lamé.

Between 2010 and 2011 she also filled the ceremonial role of Mayoress of Camden, promoting the borough’s live music venues and nightclubs, working with the local authority and diverse mix of communities.

Tags: london , music week , Amy Lame , venue closures , night czar , sadiq khan , london mayor

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