The measures threaten the economy of companies dedicated to nightlife in the city.
As a measure to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, different London clubs have decided to pause their schedules or have sought to reinvent themselves on days of global contingency. Between these cases, premises like fabric, Printworks, Ministry of Sound and The Cause are some of the ones that stand out.
Although Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not impose official shutdown orders, he urged the public to avoid places like clubs, pubs, and theaters. In fact, in Printworks they clarify that until now, they have been “following the advice of the UK government regarding the current COVID-19 outbreak”, and although the measure has been unclear, they announced they have “decided to close the headquarters by the rest of the season and postpone the remaining shows. “
The aforementioned decision of the prime minister has been strongly criticized by several specialists. For example, the London Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) indicated that the measure is “devastating for the economics of night events” and that it leaves companies “without a support mechanism”. They added that “the Prime Minister has incredibly advised the public to turn their backs on the NTE & Events sector without official closure or adequate financial support for companies and staff.”
Through a statement, the fabric team also announced that they will temporarily postpone all their events. “Our community is one of our greatest strengths, and once the overall prospects improve, our collective energy will bring us closer together. In difficult times like this, music will always be an incredibly powerful force, even if it can’t be enjoyed from the dance floor”, they added.
For its part, The Cause reported the following: “We have not opened in the last few days and we will not be open next weekend. Beyond that, we just can’t say when we’ll reopen right now.”
Village Underground, on the other hand, has been forced to postpone a series of upcoming events, although it has not yet officially closed. Meanwhile, venues like Studio 338 have taken a different approach and have announced plans to transform the club into a “temporary food storage/distribution center on weekdays (when not open) to bring food to older and vulnerable people in South London”.
Phonox, XOYO, Egg Cross London, Tola, and The Jazz Cafe have also closed. Additionally, cultural centers such as the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), BFI Southbank, and Southbank Center recently announced that they will not be open to the public. It is estimated that the list of spaces that will temporarily close their doors will continue to increase in the coming days.