Showing that the recent demise of both music venues and art spaces is not a problem that just Dublin is experiencing, The Quietus are looking at 2015 as an exceptionally bleak year for London’s music venues with a significant number of grassroots music venues closing in the last year. As neoliberal idealism becomes the norm in how our cities are managed, the dearth of local venues will continue. Without such venues it becomes increasingly difficult to support local grassroots music and an independent scene. Without a range of independent venue each, music becomes uniformed according to that specific venue’s ethos. In essence, the demise of the venue leads to a sanitisation of the communities that once inhabited them as other more gentrified and commercial venues lend a sophisticated affluent air to the clubs, zapping the energy and communal feel that small grassroots scenes need to survive.
“Grassroots venues also aren’t perfect by any means: there’s room for many to be safer and more inclusive for marginalised groups, for example. Still, it’s hard to escape the feeling that music venues which define themselves by opposition to the mainstream, in whatever form, are disappearing at much the same rate that ones catering to a more homogenous, wealthy and sociopolitically disconnected audience seem to be prospering.
..grassroots cultural spaces intrinsically linked to their local communities have to fight relentlessly to stay afloat, while their local Councillors cosy up to property developers; at the same time, lavish experiential ventures are dropped into the East End with little mention made of the financial damage done to the local community last time around.”
Photograph Lyndsey Putt, Tumblr. Piss at the Barricade Inn (since closed)