The news of Cable's closure rocked UK clubland last week. Heartbreaking news of bailiffs, under the guidance of Network Rail, blowtorching the door and destroying the dancefloor (not in a good way) served as crushing reminder of the precarious position of Britain's finest clubs. Our clubs editor gave you his thoughts in the aftermath last week, but naturally we had some questions for the venue's managing director, Ryan Ashmore, about Cable's future...
Cable is not the only club to struggle at the hands of the authorities, particularly in recent months. What's the view like from your perspective?
“I just think clubbing is not respected as much as other forms of entertainment in the UK. UK clubbing is as strong as it has ever been – that is certainly our stance here at Cable – I have personally seen the venue come from doing ten events per month to almost 40. You would think the culture would have some support from the authorities, but it doesn't, certainly not like it does in other countries. Network Rail moved heaven and earth to help out London Dungeons and The Southwark Playhouse because they likely feel they were culturally important but they wouldn't give us the time of day.”
Are nightclubs given enough protection/support as legitimate businesses by the government?
“As a business, if it is well run and you pay your taxes the government won't treat you any differently from any other business. This issue is more of a lack of acknowledgement of how important a role the dance music industry has played in the UK over the last 20 years.”
What right do Network Rail have to repossess the property? Is there a clause in the contract allowing them to take it back without notice?
“We believe they do not have the right to do what they have done, hence why we have issued a judicial review which still has to go through the court process.”
What makes you think they had other options other than Cable's premises for development? Is it likely there are political reasons behind it?
“To our knowledge, they chose the option that would cost them the least money... it was purely commercial... they took absolutely no notice of what it was they were destroying despite many attempts from us to explain the situation and have open discussions with them about alternative spaces, relocation, even alternative engineering solutions to how the stairs could be built.”
What next for Cable? Are you looking for another base?
“Presently no. Cable was unique for so many reasons – not least the venue and the location of (it). You can't just replicate that wherever you like. It took our founder many years to find the space that had the right combination of location, layout, space and options for smoking areas, fire exits, covered queuing et cetera. Cable was perfect for all the above which is why our popularity has grown as massively as it has.
“As it stands we are all just incredibly shell shocked at what happened on the 1st and we await the decision on the Judicial Review.”
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