Live venues survival under threat

Hammersmith Palais closure could just be the start

With the Hammersmith Palais closing for good this weekend (April 1), NME.COM has discovered it could be first of many venues to close.

The London music hall shuts its’ doors for good after its owners decided to demolish the venue to make way for flats.

However the venue is not the only one under threat.

Liverpool’s Pickett was forced to move locations last year to stay in existence, while the Pyramids Centre in Portsmouth could be shut as early as October this year due to over £1.8m of “maintenance work” being required to keep it going.

Back in London the Astoria faces an uncertain future when its lease runs out in December 2008 after the building’s freehold was brought by a property group last year.

Meanwhile NME.COM has learnt that The Spitz in the East End of the city joined the endangered list last week and could face closure.

With the growing interest in live music, the closure of many independent venues has surprised many – not least the musicians who are staging the gigs.

The Astoria’s going…what next?” Hard-Fi frontman Richard Archer (pictured playing the Hammersmith Palais) moaned to NME.COM. “I don’t get it, just at the time when live music is at its pinnacle in this country and they’re shutting down all the venues!”