Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, says a beloved Brighton venue faces a “slow death” if planning permission for a new development is allowed to go ahead.
More than 1200 people have objected to a planning application for a commercial building next to the Prince Albert pub, located on Trafalgar Street in the city and more than 14,000 have since signed a petition objecting to the plans.
The plans would see an existing car rental premises demolished to make way for a four-storey building (via the BBC). The plans will go before Brighton and Hove City Council on Wednesday (November 1).
Cook played a surprise gig at the venue on Monday (October 30). Speaking at the gig, he said: “It’s a long slow death over three or four years if the neighbours complain.
— Sarah Booker-Lewis (@BHDemocracyNews) October 31, 2023
The pub made headlines previously as the original location of Banksy’s “Kissing Coppers” mural, which fetched £345,000 when sold at auction in the US. A final decision about the venue will arrive later this week.
Speaking on a panel about the future of grassroots music at Manchester’s inaugural ‘Beyond The Music‘ conference earlier this month (October 13), Mark Davyd, CEO of Music Venue Trust, said over the last 12 months, “127 music venues of the grassroots type have stopped programming live music or closed down entirely” – something he described as a “fucking disaster” – despite the fact 2023 has been “the best year in history for live music receipts” with the industry making over £765million in 2022.
Davyd, who was speaking on a panel alongside representatives from Manchester’s AO Arena, Manchester’s Co-op Live, MIF/Factory International and Rachael Flaszczak, Managing Director of The Snug – a venue that was recently saved by MVT under its new ownership scheme – said “it’s completely unacceptable that our music industry is letting music collapse underneath it while it’s making the maximum amount of money it’s ever made in the history of music.”
Back in January, a report from the MVT indicated that grassroots venues in the UK were “going over a cliff” – shutting off the pipeline of future talent without urgent government action and investment from new large arenas. The MVT subsequently wrote an open letter to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, and spoke to NME about how the situation was “as dire as it can be” with the UK set to lose 10 per cent of its grassroots gig spaces in 2023. It came as calls grew for the “major leagues” of the music industry and larger venues to do more to pay into the ecosystem and save them.
Since then, MVT has called for a “grassroots levy” on ticket sales from larger arenas to help support grassroots venues.
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