Earlier today (November 4) London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan appointed the capital’s first ever Night Czar. This potentially very influential role, which pays a £32,000 salary in return for a 2.5-day working week, has gone to Amy Lamé, a woman who’s been a key player on London’s club scene for over two decades. Lamé getting the job is definitely good news, and here’s why.
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) November 4, 2016
Who exactly is Amy Lamé?
She’s a writer, broadcaster, activist, performer and club promoter who’s been co-running Duckie, a popular LGBTQ+ club night at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, every Saturday for the last 21 years. She’s also presented radio shows on BBC Radio London and 6 Music, made numerous TV appearances and even served as Mayoress of Camden from 2010-11.
Why will she boss the job?
Lamé has first-hand experience of keeping a small venue open against the odds – until today, when City Hall rules forced her to step down, she was chair of RVT Future, a committee that’s been trying to save the Royal Vauxhall Tavern from property developers for over two years. She also knows how to get people off their sofas and into communal spaces on a Saturday night – how many club nights last for more than 20 years?
What will she actually do?
It’s a brand new role, so it’s up to Lamé to make as much of it as she can. Sadiq Khan said today that she’ll be “a much-needed ambassador for the city after dark”, but Lamé won’t be content serving as a mere figurehead – she’ll want to tackle the problems facing London nightlife head-on. “I’ll be working hard to stem the flow of venue closures across the capital – 50% of nightclubs and 40% of music venues in London have been lost since 2008,” she said today. “The closure – and threat of closure – to so many clubs, pubs and music venues must stop if London is to retain its reputation for world-class nightlife. I can’t wait to get started championing the capital as a 24-hour city for ALL Londoners!”
Will anything actually change?
Obviously Lamé can’t wave a magic wand and re-open Fabric. But she has the passion and long-term knowledge of London nightlife to help protect the capital’s existing venues and encourage new ones to open. Basically, w have faith in Lamé.
Follow @NightCzar on Twitter.