Wednesday, October 28, 2015

London Mayor Launches Plan To Save Music Venues

London Music Scene
Live music everywhere is facing a crisis, as venues continue to close left and right. In some cases, the real estate is too expensive to sustain a club or bar, and in other cases, it's the neighbors complaining about the noise. In many other instances the club struggles to draw enough of a crowd to stay in business.

Whatever the reason, there are fewer and fewer places for artists and bands to perform, which robs them of the opportunity to hone their chops in front of an audience.

London mayor Boris Johnson is taking action though, alarmed at the large number of music venues that have either closed or are facing closure in his city.

The Mayor has set up a task force to work with venues, musicians, the Ministry of Culture and just about anyone else that's interested in an effort to keep London's music scene alive and well.

Whether the task force will be successful is yet to be seen, but it's an admirable attempt to even recognize the problem in the first place. It would be great if US cities would do something similar, but don't hold your breath, as its low on the list of priorities for most US mayors.

You can read the Taskforce's report here.


DB said...

Interesting report -- mostly because it addresses "infrastructure" issues instead of demand issues. Here in the US, one hears complaints all the time about the decline in venues, but the causes mentioned are different:
-- 20-somethings are less interested in live music
-- DJs are preferable and easier to use in a small venue
-- Distraction from mobile devices or life online vs. "real" life
-- Fractionalization of options for entertainment
-- Noise within the venue ("It's too loud, I can't talk to my friends")
-- Crackdown of enforcing drunk driving laws

Again, the London report is intriguing but it sounds like a bunch of old dudes wrote this who are completely out of touch with the changing social tide. And THAT's the tide driving closure of live music venues.

Rand said...

Well said and explained DB. I'm currently dan unda mite and it's a similar scenario from what I experience, as well as hearing from others in other parts of the world.

There's a reason it's called a 'cell' phone - because anything that dominates one's life so completely you become a prisoner to it.

We all desperately need to switch-off, talk to each other, and get out more and re-establish the old-fashioned, but far more healthy, social culture being abandoned for the digital version.

Peter McDonald said...

Quite ironic considering it was Boris Johnson who advised that the closure of the Astoria and LA2 were not an issue as they were building new Arenas as part of the building for the Olympics a few years back.

He failed to grasp then that bands who played the clubs can't fill arenas so is of little value to them.

I very much doubt he grasps the situation now either.


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