Hackney Council Vote To Devastate East London Nightlife With Insane Curfew On All New Venues

Hackney Council Vote To Devastate East London Nightlife With Insane Curfew On All New Venues

July 19, 2018

In what is being seen by many as a colossal L, Hackney Council have voted unanimously to slap an absurd midnight curfew on all new live music venues in the area, despite — as many are pointing out on Twitter (see below) — an overwhelming majority of residents registering their opposition to the curfew.

Shoreditch, Dalston, Stoke Newington, Hoxton and much of East London will be affected by the curfew, which states that all new venues will automatically have to stick to an 11pm curfew on weekdays and a midnight curfew on weekends. If venues want to extend their licenses they'll have to prove to the council that there won't be any anti-social behaviour.

It's a truly bizarre move and raises a tonne of questions. Firstly, is this (as some suspect) a way of replacing Form 696? Secondly, after Nightlife Czar Amy Lamé admitted it was out of her hands, what exactly is the Nightlife Czar for, if not to protect our London nightlife?

"This is a disgraceful decision and a shameful failure of elected officials to listen to the views of residents," said Street Feast founder Jonathan Downey. "It is disastrous for the life and vibrancy of Hackney nightlife. This is not over though and we will not be ignored." 

Councillor Emma Plouviez, who helped draft the policy, said: "Without these steps we face a potential situation where the licensing committee could be forced to approve late licences for venues that are completely unsuitable and will have a huge impact on residents' lives." 

Mayor Phil Glanville, who Downey said "ignored" his repeated requests for a meeting, is denying there will be a problem, but says he has been in talks with Lamé.

Is this what burgeoning nightlife spots in Peckham and South London can look forward to? 

Words: James Keith
Photography: Kate Bones