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March to Save Passing Clouds from Closure

March with over 2000 people against the closure of Passing Clouds, a renowned multicultural live music venue in London.

This Saturday 17 September, over 2000 supporters will march to London Passing Clouds in Hackney, from Hoxton Square in Shoreditch, to demonstrate the importance of keeping the venue open.

Passing Clouds has been an established hub and performance platform for internationally celebrated musicians originating from over 150 countries since its inception 10 years ago.

Public figures backing Passing Clouds and the march include musicians Paloma Faith, Jazzie B, Dawn Penn, Jazzie B (Soul II Soul), Nick McCarthy (Franz Ferdinand), Felix Buxton (Basement Jaxx), radio presenter Giles Peterson, poet Benjamin Zephaniah, fashion designer Katharine Hamnett, author Ian Sinclair, rapper Roots Manuva, artist Gavin Turk, TV presenter Andi Oliver, record producers Trevor Horn CBE, Youth and Adrian Sherwood, and Hackney MP Meg Hillier.

Support has flooded in from venues across London, with over 30 holding a minute’s silent vigil on the night of the march in solidarity with Passing Clouds, including Scala, the Rich Mix, the Round House, the Hackney Empire, Hootenanny, the Vortex and Brixton Jamm, Village Underground, Dalston Superstore, the Bussey Building and the Forge.

Over 35% of live music venues in London have shut in the last 10 years according to the Mayor of London’s newly established Music Venue Task Force, of which the Musicians’ Union is a part.

Protesters plan to deliver a statement in the form of an open letter to Landhold Developments, Hackney Council, the Mayor of London and central government.

The open letter, backed by hundreds of artists, musicians and members of the local community will call upon Hackney Council to both grant Passing Clouds’s application to make the venue an Asset of Community Value under the Localism Act, blocking development or sale without permission of the community.

The letter also asks Landhold Developments to return to the negotiating table and agree to a ‘sensible’ rent increase or sell Passing Clouds the building at fair price.

Dave Webster, MU National Organiser for Live Performance says:

“The MU is disappointed to see that yet another London grassroots music venue is under threat from a property developer. Redeveloping a derelict building or brownfield site is one thing. Closing an essential community asset such as Passing Clouds is another, and we would like to see more protections available for live music venues. Our musicians require places to play and the community needs live music. With the closing of Passing Clouds, a community’s access to culture is taken away.

“Keep Music Live – keep venues open.”

Find out more and join the march.

Published: 15/09/2016

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