Are clubbing and independent music in the UK slowly dying?
That could be the case according to The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), which showed a 10-year decline between 2005-15 of UK nightclubs. In 2005, there were 3,144 venues in Britain before the total decreased to just 1,733 in a decade’s time.
Unfortunately, licensing changes have been viewed as a contributing factor. In London, an alliance of property developers, planners and councils have attempted to mold every acre of the city, emphasizing retail and apartments and bulldozing music venues. Such attempts could threaten the future of The Star & Garter, which has been open for 150 years.
Not so fast, though.
Luckily, a nightclub that has been threatened twice to close will return to its roots by morphing into a live music venue again.
Return to Independent Music Roots
The After Dark Club in Reading, UK, which has been open since 1973, will host live shows once again after officials saved it from demolition for a second time. The venue will now focus on live independent music and continue to host evening events to save its future.
As a result of the great news, musicians and fans are ecstatic.
Plans to pull down the After Dark club in London Street have now been withdrew. This great news for people who use the club long live the After Dark club Reading.
— Home Counties Press (@homecountiespre) April 25, 2018
Radiohead, The Verve, The Levellers, Shed Seven, and Supergrass are just a handful of artists who have made their impact and performed at After Dark in the past. In 2017, KK Property Investments wanted to replace the venue with two blocks of six flats. Thankfully, planning officers described that ridiculous proposal as a “cramped and visually dominant overdevelopment of the site,” per BBC news.
Furthermore, the club’s current manager, Zahid Khan, revealed to the BBC his plans for the club. “Our sole aim is to save the After Dark by making it stand on its own two feet and making it prosperous and actually relevant to the whole community of Reading and beyond,” Kahn stated. “We need support from everyone to do this as the club cannot exist without us and people taking responsibility to make it a success.”
Let’s hope the community can get behind the historic venue’s rebirth so that artists and musicians can continue adding to its already rich history.