One of Dalston’s best-loved nightclubs is to close this summer.
Dalston’s Dance Tunnel is to close in August because licensing regulations in the Hackney borough have made keeping the club open financially untenable.
“We regret to announce that Dance Tunnel is to close its doors in August. Sadly the licensing climate in Hackney has made it impossible for us to get the hours we need to make Dance Tunnel sustainable in the long term,” the club’s owners said in a statement.
“We would like to sincerely apologise to all the Tunnel Dancers who we are letting down. We really tried to make it work. Thanks to all the artists, DJs, promoters and family members who have shared their favourite music and moments with us over the last three-and-a-bit years. Thanks to everyone who has made our basement such a special place. Sorry we never got round to fixing that slope on the dancefloor.”
The 220-capacity Dalston basement venue has become one of east London’s most well-loved clubs since it opened in late 2012, hosting DJs including Ben UFO, Helena Hauff and Optimo across its three-and-a-half-year lifespan.
The club also replaced Plastic People as the regular home of Rinse FM’s FWD nights, which brought everyone from Skream, Elijah & Skilliam, Plastician and the Boxed crew in for regular Thursday night raves.
Dance Tunnel’s closure comes at a turbulent time for London’s nightlife: last year it was reported that UK nightclubs were closing at “an alarming rate,” with almost half the country’s clubs being lost over the last 10 years.
London mayor Boris Johnson last month announced the Night Time Commission, a six-month investigation into how to protect and manage the UK capital’s night time economy in response to the problems facing the capital’s clubs.
“[The night time economy] is brilliantly successful, but night time activities can be seen as causes of noise and nuisance, whilst businesses complain that rising property values, the need for housing, licensing requirements and other red tape are damaging their operations, even leading to closures,” Johnson said.
“If we are to compete against other world cities is vital that we develop policies to reconcile the competing needs and concerns.”
Update: Keysound boss Martin Clark (aka Blackdown) has started a Change.org petition to help save the beleaguered club.
Calling on “fans of London’s vibrant creative communities”, Clark is eager for the petition to help Hackney Council “re-review the legislation imposed on Dance Tunnel” and also consider the long-term implications the closure might have on the scene.
You can sign the petition here, and with only 500 signatures needed it’s almost half way there already.