London's Macbeth Venue Is Under Threat From Closure – And Needs Your Help

The Macbeth in London could be closing its doors soon, but you can help save it

London's Macbeth Venue Is Under Threat From Closure – And Needs Your Help

East London venue The Macbeth is the latest gig spot to come under threat of closure.

The 100-year-old Hoxton bar has played host to a ton of alternative music’s most exciting live bands including Gallows, Fucked Up, Cerebral Ballzy and Svalbard, but now faces closure following noise complaints from neighbours.

The venue posted a statement on Facebook, revealing that the local council are “basically trying to shut us down”. The proposed review will close the venue for three months before enforcing 10pm closing time Sunday to Thursday and 11pm on Friday and Saturday – “This will kill the venue and they know it!” continues the message.

“Please show you support and send your reasons why this venue should stay open and what a great asset it is to us all to: [email protected] Subject matter The Macbeth N1 6LP Review.”

We caught up with Mark Robinson from The Macbeth to talk about the proposed changes and what it means for the London music scene.

How do you respond to the council’s claims of noise complaints and pub-goers "urinating in gardens"?
"We are waiting to see evidence that supports the noise complaints in detail, and claims of our customers urinating in gardens, and we will take it from there. I would have to say, we do have 11 working toilets and we would never knowingly let anyone in if we witnessed any antisocial behaviour from them.”

What makes The Macbeth so special?
“The Macbeth has been running with the same licensing hours for 13 years, and this is what makes the place special as a diverse and inclusive venue for grassroots live performance, artists, promoters, DJs and producers. [It has] served not only the local community, but countless numbers of the wider community."

How do you feel about the seemingly constant closure of venues in the UK?
“The consistent closure of venues is shocking. This also relates to pubs, of which many have back rooms for live shows, so in many cases the two are related. The financial pressures of huge rent rates and energy increases, combined with morally redundant landlords and pressures from local authorities, make it very difficult for most. Plus the recession as we know it is far from over, and the pound in the pocket for a impromptu visit to your local venue – let alone a pint – really no longer exists in the way it used to.

“The Macbeth very recently renewed its lease after a three-year legal battle with its landlords – which financially divested the business – and in the very same week, we had a license review notice put on our window. This is what venues are up against, when all we’re really trying to do is put on some shows and club events and serve some refreshments. That said, we are getting a huge amount of support from individuals who feel passionately about us, and the music scene in general. The GLA [Greater London Authority] and The MVT [Music Venue Trust] have been amazing.”

Are you confident you will keep your licence?
“I can’t say whether or not we are confident about keeping our license, but the more referrals to the council that are submitted the better. We’ve had lots of support from the residents, but it seems that some have raised concerns leading to the review of our license . Our barrister will get a balanced view once these are submitted by July 17 to [email protected].

“We are also starting a crowdfunder to raise fees to get the best help with our plight.”

To help save The Macbeth from the threat of closure, email [email protected] explaining why the venue should stay open by July 17.

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