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London’s 100 Club facing closure

By | Published on Friday 24 September 2010

The 100 Club venue on London’s Oxford Street is apparently facing closure as costs spiral out of control. The venue, which has occupied its current site in various forms since 1942, is noted for putting on early gigs by bands who have gone on to fame and fortune, and was a focus of the late seventies punk scene. But in recent years it has reportedly seen rents rise to more than £13,800 per month, not to mention another £4000 per month in business rates.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, the venue’s boss, Jeff Horton said: “In 1985, when I took over, the rent was barely £11,000 [a year]. In the US, the rents are frozen at certain venues that have a bit of heritage. Here it’s a total free-for-all. It makes me so angry. The government, Westminster Council and even some of the commercial landlords say they want to help small businesses, they say they want to preserve London’s uniqueness, they want to help multi-cultural venues. Yet we’re all that and all these organisations have all dumped on us from a great height”.

The Musicians’ Union has also spoken out against the potential closure. The organisation’s Assistant General Secretary Horace Trubridge told CMU: “This is yet another example of an extremely popular venue threatened with closure due to financial pressure. The club is as popular as ever and is a part of London’s heritage – it would be a travesty if it were to close. The MU will be campaigning to save the 100 Club and we urge all music fans to join us”.

Horton told the Standard that the 100 Club would close this Christmas unless a buyer or major sponsor can be found.