RESCUE PLAN FOR LONDON’S MUSIC VENUES

“This is what it looks like when we are winning”.

Bold words indeed, but entirely true to those of us fighting for London’s music sector.

These are the words spoken to me by Mark Davyd, head of The Music Venue Trust. And today, his hard work has paid off. And not just Mark’s work, but the work of all of you who signed this letter that I wrote to Boris Johnson almost exactly a year ago.

It’s often far too easy to forget accomplishment when it comes gradually. But if I picture myself a year ago, walking back from a funeral march we held after the closure of Madame Jojo’s, I remember feeling helpless, sad and without hope. We reached out with that letter, and the answer has, slowly but surely finally arrived. And that has happened with the help of many of YOU, as well as some pretty well known figures who support our concerns. You all signed the letter and what I was hoping for, has been turned into an action by the Mayor’s office today. It’s just the start, but it is real. And the finer details of this work has been carried out with unswerving passion by Mark Davyd, Beverley Whitrick of The Music Venue Trust and Paul Broadhurst – Head of Music for The Mayor of London.  For this they must be applauded.

You can read the full report of the RESCUE PLAN for London’s grassroots music venues here: http://london.gov.uk/…/acces…/mayors-music-venues-taskforce…

There is a full report in PDF form which is well worth reading and it will show you why today, a little bit of history has been made for the future of live music in London.

Point ‘1b’ of Reccomendation 1 on ‘Planning’ on Page 25 of the report is what will actually… Save Soho.

During the heyday of 90s Britpop, Central London was swarming with a healthy live music culture and community. It took decades to build that culture.   Since 2007, 35% of music venues have closed.

But as of 8.30am today in a tiny guitar shop on Denmark Street, we all gathered round to support the launch of this new report. And the foundations to begin again were laid down in stone. Certainly the most uplifting start to a week that I’ve encountered in a long time. The rescue plan won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. Especially if we all continue to make our voices heard.  Together.

I doff my hat to everyone who did more than just moan about this issue over the last year. Power To The People folks.  Don’t stop now. And for every aspiring music artist in the UK,  Soho WILL continue to be a platform for you all, as it always has been.  Now let’s make London’s Music Future as rich as London’s Music Past!

Tim Arnold, Singer and Founder of Save Soho

Winning

Mary Davyd – Head of Music Venue Trust, Tim Arnold – Singer and Founder of Save Soho and Paul Broadhurst – Head of Music for The Mayor of London at Regent Sounds, Denmark St, Monday 19th October 2015.

Save Soho meets Sound Diplomacy

Sound Diplomacy logo

Grass roots music venues have been the primary focus for Save Soho since we began.  As luck would have it, our founder Tim Arnold met with Shain Shapiro, MD of Sound Diplomacy at Sheffield’s Sensoria Festival last week.  Shain and Sound Diplomacy provided some of the answers we have been looking for.  If you are in music, the music industry or just into music, click HERE, this article is essential reading.

Original article by Shain Shapiro published in Record Of The Day

Save The Curzon Soho

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The Curzon Cinema and CrossRail 2

On the 11th March this year Transport for London held a consultation meeting at St Patrick’s church about the proposed Crossrail 2 project. In attendance at this meeting were prominent members of the Soho community, The Soho Society and Save Soho. Managing director of CrossRail 2 Michelle Dix hosted the meeting.

After our protestations, Miss Dix assured us that contrary to earlier statements by TFL, the ‘green’ of Soho Square was no longer going to be used as a work depot (something that would have rendered the square unusable to the general public for 10-12 years). So far so good.

Miss Dix also stated that the plans for CrossRail 2 would potentially mean construction of an ‘access point’ at the Shaftesbury Avenue end of Frith and Dean Street, therefore resulting in the demolition of The Curzon Cinema and that the decision on this matter after the initial consulting process would be readdressed this autumn in a second consultation meeting.

At that first meeting, the plans had not been approved and the general consensus from Save Soho was that TFL should search for another location to be utilized as an access point. It was our view that it would be reasonable for TFL to find a location that did not mean the removal, closure or demolition of an affordable, culturally valuable destination like The Curzon Cinema.

In our efforts to protect the future of performing arts venues in London’s Soho, this is now a critical issue that Miss Dix and her team from TFL will be addressing with us and other members of the Soho community at 6.30pm on Tuesday 22nd September at The Bloomsbury Baptist Church at 235 Shaftesbury Avenue. This meeting is by invitation only.

In addition to it being a global destination and an important art house cinema where emerging film-makers are able to showcase their work (as well as established film makers such as Mike Leigh who holds regular screenings and Q & A sessions at the venue), The Curzon is also a local cinema for the residents and workers who make up the greater Soho community.

We ask for your support in making the decision of the TFL work for all parties. For those who recognize ‘growth’ in London and the need for more transport, as well as the need for keeping Soho’s performing arts venues thriving in the future, as they have done throughout Soho’s history.

How can you have YOUR say?

Sign the petition: SAVE LONDON’S CURZON SOHO CINEMA!

Follow on Twitter: @savesoho @CurzonSoho

Share this post with Hashtags: #savecurzonsoho #savesoho

Send your own letter to the TFL to info@savesoho.com and we will address any of your points at the next consultation meeting.

On behalf of lovers of film, community and Soho

Tim Arnold  – Founder of Save Soho

Stephen Fry – Chairman of Save Soho
Benedict Cumberbatch – Founder Member
Colin Vaines – Founder Member
Guy Hamilton – Founder Member