Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Boris Johnson backs plan for 'night mayor' to oversee capital's nighttime economy

London Mayor Boris Johnson has promised to protect live music venues in the capital following a large number of closures in recent years. A new report, titled London's Grassroots Music Venues Rescue Plan, found that the number of grassroots music venues has decreased by 35 per cent since 2007, with just 88 remaining. Responding to the report, Johnson now vows to introduce new measures to help "safeguard and revive" live music in London. The threat to the remaining venues from rising rents, licensing restrictions, noise complaints and housing development has prompted fears for the long-term future of the UK’s £3.8 billion music industry.The report recommends that developers, not venues themselves, will be responsible for problems (such as noise complaints) that might arise between new residents and a longstanding venue and an Amsterdam-style “night mayor” would bring together businesses, residents, local authorities, transport and police to maximise the sector’s potential.   "From the Rolling Stones to David Bowie, the Clash to Oasis and Ed Sheeran to Adele, grassroots music venues have played a key role in enabling some of the biggest names in music to develop as artists and to build audiences. They are the incubators for the stars that go on to pack stadiums in London and across the world," Johnson told City AM.

And smaller music venues should apply for more arts funding to help keep their doors open, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said at the Music Venue Day conference in London: "A vibrant music venue which is breaking new acts has just as much right to be considered a cultural venue as a local or regional theatre", he said, according to the BBC. 



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