London Club Owners Ally Against Nightlife Crackdown
Leading figures in London’s nightlife including Egg London’s Spencer Wyat, fabric cofounder Cameron Leslie, Alex Proud and Vibe Bar founder Alan Miller have teamed up to form the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) to defend England’s increasingly under-attack after-dark economy.
Outlining their philosophy on their website, the Association vows to challenge the ‘unfair treatment and attitudes currently being imposed upon the Night Time Industry’.
And to ‘communicate with decision makers and help to forge a “360 degree” approach whereby legislators, the police, local planning authorities and residents are all part of the national and local discussion to helping to continually improve business, culture and creativity in Britain.”
Speaking to the Standard, Alan Miller said London has lost venues servicing 24,000 revellers a night in the last two years and said the city’s surviving clubs face a ‘perfect storm’ of problems including gentrification, massively detailed paperwork requirements and ruinously expensive compulsory security costs.
“So many tourists come here to visit Fabric, XOYO, Ministry and Fire, not just the Houses of Parliament and Madame Tussauds,” he pointed out, “Our high streets, young people and culture will be much worse off if we continue to cull it.”
Describing his own experiences in being forced to close Brick Lane’s hugely influential Vibe Bar by bureaucracy and police clampdowns late last year, he recalled being ‘drowned in paperwork’ with attendances cut in half by curfews imposed on the club’s hugely popular outdoor terrace space.
“The attitude of authorities today is that businesses need to be reigned in and the public have to be limited,” he told the Ransom Note, “Forget cities like Berlin, Paris, Barcelona- London and UK cities are controlled zones. (RansomNote; “the Slow Destruction of English Nightlife: http://bit.ly/1IV59jV )
Fellow NTIA associate and Camden club owner Alex Proud previously complained of being held to standards that no other industry is and ‘guilty until proven innocent’ in an editorial in the Daily Telegraph in December in which he admitted ‘sometimes daydreaming of a world where nightclubs were dealt with like banks (by authorities).’
“Oh, you’ve been laundering millions of pounds worth of drugs money through your club. Don’t do it again”, he quipped.
“Your badly run club has gone bust – never mind, we’ve jacked up the local council tax to bail you out.” George Osborne endlessly explaining that nightclub owners deserve bonuses because “London needs clubs.”
Daily Telegraph; A gentrified Soho is terrible news for London