Fans fight to save London venue

The Astoria is under threat following sale

Music fans have come together to try and save London’s Astoria venue from closure.

Singer 50ft Woman and music business contacts website The Rock Star Lottery have combined their efforts and set up the Save The Astoria Myspace.

As previously reported, The Astoria was sold for £24 million, and there are now fears the building could be re-developed.

Derwent Valley, who describe themselves as a “commercial property investor”, have bought the concert hall.

The Save the Astoria website posts: “OK, we all know that the Astoria needs a damn good overhaul as a venue, but if we lose this, that’s yet another legendary venue lost forever.

The Marquee may still exist in name, but the legend has been lost twice. Once again the corporates will think of money before music.

“What venue are bands going to dream about playing now, if we lose the Astoria? If we want to save it, we need to act, and we need to act now. According to press sources, the Mean Fiddler holds the lease until Dec 2008, but what happens after that.”

They add that The Astoria is also threatened due to transport improvements in the area.

“The venue is also under threat of a compulsory purchase order from the London Crossrail link,” they explain, “but hopefully if we get enough support, then we can keep the Astoria as it should be – the top Central London venue!!”

The website urges visitors to: “Add yourself as a friend and then post this as a bulletin and pass on the message! And if you add a comment I may use it as a quote in the letters we are going to send to relevant parties … “

Currently The Astoria is being let to promoters Mean Fiddler for £1 million a year until 2008 under terms agreed by previous owner Compco (a subsidiary of Clear Channel Entertainment UK).

While not directly commenting on the building’s future as a music venue, Derwent Valley John Burns Managing Director explained there could be changes.

The Astoria is a valuable addition and a strategic acquisition, which adjoins our existing holdings in the area and will form a potential development site for the future,” he said “We are committed to the regeneration of key areas London and are looking forward to the opportunities afforded by such a prominent location.”

The Astoria has played host to a number of gigs by a variety artists including Nirvana, The White Stripes and U2.

It has also been home to the ShockWaves NME Awards shows and hosts the influential club night G.A.Y.