The End of London’s Superclubs?

The End of London’s Superclubs?
Arts & Culture
Amanda Gore (PSFK London)
  • 25 march 2008

With three of London’s biggest nightclubs already having closed down this year to make way for redevelopment and the legendary Turnmills throwing its final party last weekend, the Financial Times magazine reports on how superclubs are being priced out of the city and replaced by million-pound apartments and over-priced ’boutique nightclubs.

One of London’s largest and best-known nightclubs, Turnmills, which has a capacity of 1,100, will close its doors for good this weekend with a final Easter blowout. It has enjoyed 23 years of hard clubbing in the lower floors of a converted gin distillery in east London – from the smiley-faced acid house craze of the late 1980s to the “nu-rave” revival of the past few years. In 1990, it became the first venue in the UK to be granted a 24-hour, 365-day-a-year music and dance licence. But having survived ever-shifting musical tastes, the rise of London gun crime and a birthday party for Michael Jackson, Turnmills has fallen victim to a more deadly foe: a decade of soaring property prices.

Turnmills is the fourth large club to close in the capital since the turn of the year. A few miles to the north in King’s Cross, three of London’s leading nightclubs – The Cross, Canvas and The Key – have also closed to make way for redevelopment. The demise of these venues forms part of another story, that of the relentless expansion of London as a city of business. Very slowly, fun is being squeezed out, and office blocks are moving in.

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