London’s indie music venues are dropping like flies, with skyrocketing rent and bigger-spending retailers driving the dives out. The latest victim: Power Lunches, which is hosting its farewell bash on December 23rd. The venue confirmed the shutdown ahead of the weekend, with no concrete plans to re-open at a cheaper location.
Power Lunches had been in operation for four years before being driven out by unworkable rent increases. That follows an alarming string of small venue shutdowns, with the Coronet most recently closing its doors after 138 years in operation. Earlier this year, the Mayor of London commissioned a task force that found that 35% of London’s smaller music venues have disappeared since 2007.
The question is what, if anything, should be done about the trend. Smart shifts in taxation and foreign capital policies have attracting a swatch of billionaires, whether from Russia or other countries, with searing real estate prices the result. But that’s just part of a complicated soup that also involves massive shifts in the way fans enjoy live music. Festivals have replaced one-off gigs for many fans, and beyond that, the media landscape has been utterly saturated with endless options. Perhaps a hit-and-miss, indie music gig doesn’t carry the same pizzazz as it did before.
The following is an official statement issued by Power Lunches, via their Facebook page:
“Hi everyone and thanks for your kind messages. Yes I’m afraid we are closing, in the last year it has become financially unviable for us to carry on without compromising the integrity of what power lunches is known and loved for. We all know it it has become increasingly difficult to do good stuff in a city that is so focused on making a profit without much concern for anything else but we’ve had 4 great years and we hope everyone will remember us fondly knowing we did our best to support independent bands and promoters in London.
There is a chance we will reopen at a new premises in the new year but in the mean time please give DIY Space for London all your support and come and help us go out in style on the 19th. Thanks to everyone who played , promoted, bought drinks, hung out, danced and made Power Lunches Power Lunches.
Peace Love & Best wishes everyone at PL xxx “
Image by Jared Tarbell, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.
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