Clubs will fall silent next week in a show of support with recently closed music venues. For five whole minutes at midnight on September 17, London will become an aural ghost town as speakers are turned off and tracks cut short at clubs across the city.
Twenty-six venues have now signed up for the vigil – including Hackney Empire, Bussey Building, Dalston Superstore, The Hope and Anchor, and Brixton Jamm. The number of clubs getting involved is expected to rise, especially in the aftermath of Islington Council’s decision to permanently revoke Fabric’s licence.
‘For just five minutes, it will show what London will be like if there is nowhere left to go out,’ said Gudrun Getz, events manager at Passing Clouds, who are spearheading the protest – as a response to their own precarious situation. Property developers acquired the music venue last September and raised the rent by a whopping 320 percent. The venue is currently occupied by bailiffs, with doors and windows secured shut with metal hoardings. ‘This place is so magical, colourful and vibrant. It looks like a prison now,’ said Getz.
As well as the midnight silence, Passing Clouds has organised a ‘March of London Warriors’ for earlier the same day. A travelling party of African drummers, artists, supporters and a gospel choir will follow a giant pulsating heart in a procession that starts in Hoxton Square at 5pm. Passing Clouds is asking people attending the march to dress head-to-toe in red and create a ‘river of blood’ down Kingsland Road that will symbolise the vitality of London’s music venues. The procession will stop at Passing Clouds before reaching Gillett Square at 6.30pm for a rally where musicians, poets and speakers will take to the stage, including a representative for London Mayor Sadiq Khan. The Mayor recently met with Passing Clouds founder Eleanor Wilson and pledged his full support to the venue.
The full list of venues confirmed to take part in the vigil so far: