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Islington Venue ‘The Garage’ Launches Campaign to Safeguard Its Future Ahead of 25th Anniversary

North London music venue The Garage has launched a campaign to safeguard its future, in the face of an increasingly tough environment that has seen more than 40 percent of grassroots venues close in the capital over the last decade.

Located almost directly opposite Highbury and Islington Tube Station, 600-capacity venue The Garage sits within an area designated for redevelopment by planners – combined with rising business rates and a short rolling lease, this adds up to an uncertain future.

One of London's best loved grassroots music venues, it’s recently hosted artists such as alt-J, Jack White and Harry Styles – as well as emerging talent such as Goat Girl, Rina Sawayama, The Orielles and Gus Dapperton.

Now The Garage is calling on the community of Highbury and Islington to back its campaign and help preserve its future, as it gears up to mark the 25th anniversary.

Recent introduction of the Agent of Change principle

Dave Webster, National Organiser for Live Performance at the Musicians’ Union states:

“The MU fully supports the campaign being run by Islington venue The Garage. All too often we are seeing grassroots music venues closing due to planning – depriving musicians, music fans and local communities of access to live music.

“The recent introduction of the Agent of Change principle into the New Planning Policy Framework is most welcome. It’s there to ensure that venues such as The Garage stay open.

“We encourage musicians and music fans to get behind this campaign – keep music live!”

Help ensure the future of The Garage

The Garage's programmer Matthew Cook said:

"We want to ensure the future of The Garage by strengthening ties with our local community.

"We've helped to set up a Friends of The Garage facebook group for local residents to express their support for this iconic venue. Our intention is to work with the community to have The Garage designated as an 'Asset of Community Value', in an effort to protect its long-term future.

“We would urge anyone wanting to show their support to join the group, where we will be posting regular updates."

Anyone wanting to back the campaign to support The Garage should join the Friends of The Garage facebook group, and use the hashtag #Garage25 on their own social media channels to show their support.

Published: 03/08/2018
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