Update: Hackney Council says: “[We must] balance the needs of businesses against the rights of our residents to a good night’s sleep, and as both our population and night time economy grow, that is becoming increasingly hard to do.”
In response to petitions about Dance Tunnel’s closure, Hackney Council has responded: “[Dance Tunnel] have not applied to extend their opening hours [past 3 AM] for over two years. They have however been able to regularly operate until 5 AM using Temporary Event Notices…
In February we organised a meeting in Shoreditch with residents and business owners, to hear their opinions about how we can strike the right balance. We’ll be arranging other opportunities for people to have their say over the coming months, and this will feed into our licensing strategy.”
Update: Dance Tunnel’s owners have issued a statement saying the club’s future lies elsewhere.
Despite the petition to save the club reaching over 2,400 signatures, Dance Tunnel’s owners have thanked the public for the support but indicated they’re moving the venue to a space “subject to fewer compromises.”
“We are extremely humbled by the response to yesterday’s announcement, and the fact that Dance Tunnel means so much to so many people,” the owners wrote on Facebook.
“It hasn’t been an easy decision to make, but for us Dance Tunnel’s future lies elsewhere – we still feel that London is still missing the club it truly deserves.
“We need to regroup and look further afield to find a space where we are subject to fewer compromises. We would like to offer our heartfelt and sincere thanks to everyone who has been in touch to offer support.”
The east London club is to shut its doors in August, it was announced yesterday (April 11).
A petition to rescue Dance Tunnel from closure is circulating online following calls from Four Tet, Disclosure, Erol Alkan and more to save the Dalston club.
“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 yesterday announcing the closure.
“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.”
Tributes quickly poured in from both fans and artists who’ve attended Dance Tunnel nights. “Sad to hear @DanceTunnel is shutting its doors had some good times at that spot! All the best to those involved,” tweeted Disclosure, while Four Tet wrote: “losing more venues in London for all the wrong reasons… sad times.”
Erol Alkan meanwhile described venues like Dance Tunnel as “almost like a springboard for new artists”, telling BBC Newsbeat: “I feel that when Dance Tunnel appeared it was refreshing. I felt London was losing a lot of small clubs. I was sometimes surprised to see a lot of the big names playing there. You don’t just look at how much you’re going to be paid, you want these sort of venues. Everyone is there for same reason, because they’re engaged with who’s playing.”
A petition has since been started calling on Hackney council to “work with Dance Tunnel to find a workable, economically viable solution that balances the needs of the immediate local residents with the wider cultural value creative hubs bring to the borough. The proposed closure would be “yet another hammer blow to London’s list of dwindling small venues,” says petition organiser Blackdown Keysound. “Small venues are the incubators now of the scenes that will fill the vast concert halls of the future. Head over to Change.org to sign.
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. 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.