Passing Clouds music venue fighting backPosted: October 13, 2016
Gudrun Getz of Passing Clouds on their campaign to save the beloved Dalston venue
Passing Clouds is a community music venue and arts centre established by artists and has been at the heart of Dalston’s multicultural arts movement for the last 10 years. Passing Clouds has also charitably funded and supported a wide number of campaigns and projects, and hosted at no charge an array of inspirational communities including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Permaculture Picturehouse who promote innovative, ecological living. But now, like so many other community-oriented spaces across the country, this beloved music venue is under threat from property developers.
Passing Clouds’ building was secretly sold to property developers Landhold Developments who originally told the community that they had no intention of developing the property and would let Passing Clouds stay. Following months of negotiations and legal wranglings, Landhold finally seized the building in August 2016 and have boarded up this once vibrant, colourful and thriving music venue.
The closure of Passing Clouds has resulted in the loss of over 50 jobs, severely affected the livelihoods of hundreds more in the form of promoters, musicians, artists, DJs and local businesses, and has generally had a damaging impact on the local community.
However there is still a chance to save Passing Clouds. Passing Clouds is now petitioning Meg Hillier MP and Hackney Council to ensure the lifelong protection of this vital community asset by approving an application to register Passing Clouds as an Asset of Community Value. The music and arts community has made and continues to make such a valuable and important contribution to both the culture and economy of the country that creative spaces need to be protected by those with the power to do so. You could help by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with “Passing Clouds ACV Application – Letter of Support” as the subject line. Tell them how much Passing Clouds means to you and you could help open its doors again. You can also Tweet @HackneyCouncil and @PhilipGlanville.
This is not just about Passing Clouds. Hundreds of music venues, pubs and community centres all over the UK are being ejected from the areas they helped to nurture and being replaced by over-priced luxury flats that are contributing to Britain’s alarming housing crisis. Beloved arts spaces and cultural heritage are being destroyed by soulless gentrification and corporate greed. Aggressive property development is having a detrimental impact on our culture and our communities.