Amy Lamé has been appointed by Mayor Sadiq Khan as the first Night Czar. He made the surprising announcement at Soho’s 100 Club this morning. Surprising, because, frankly – we weren't expecting anyone quite so cool to get the job. Soz Sadiq!
Possibly best known as a broadcaster across BBC Radio, New Jersey-born Lamé has also run brilliant LGBT club/performance night Duckie since the mid-‘90s – mostly out of Vauxhall's Royal Vauxhall Tavern, a venue that has itself undergone its fair share of strife over the years just to stay open.
The job, which was announced in August, will entail Lamé working closely with Sadiq Khan, Transport for London, Metropolitan Police Services, local authorities and businesses. However, many active nightgoers will be explicitly hoping that Lamé will tackle recent club closures that have shaken our nightlife. In particular, Fabric’s upcoming appeal case will be an initial focus point for London's clubbers. The superclub had its licence revoked in September this year despite huge public support.
Though she described the new role as ‘the toughest gig there is’, at the announcement this morning, Lamé also wanted to stress that she was ‘100% the Night Czar for all Londoners. Nightlife in London is my life.’ According to City Hall, everyone from DJs, venue managers, journalists, ex police and doctors applied for the new – and awesomely-titled – role.
The Night Czar position follows the successful appointments of night mayors in Amsterdam, Paris and Zurich. Amsterdam’s night mayor Mirik Milan, a former club promoter, was publicly elected and has overseen the creation of a nightlife ‘suburb’ with ten 24-hour venues.
It’s now a case of wait-and-see to understand exactly what power Lamé actually wields in her new role. As everyone knows, it’s stressful enough planning a night out for friends. Imagine having the fate of a whole city’s good time – and safety – in your hands. That said, huge congrats to Amy Lamé! If anyone knows how to run a party, it's definitely her.
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