2015 may have been a great year for music, but it was far from being a great time for the proprietors and owners of the establishments that played host to these music events. In the UK alone, a report published last year showed that at least half of the nation’s nightclubs had closed over the past 10 years. It wasn’t just in the UK that venues have been struggling to keep their heads above water, as across the continent a whole swathe of venues were forced to turn the lights off (or on), clear the floor and close their doors. Let’s raise a glass, and celebrate these famous institutions as DJBroadcast looks back at the Top 10 clubs to close in 2015.
With it’s final party on January 3rd, featuring a mixture of top residents and international talent, the team behind Trouw put to rest seven years of great music. Trouw itself was always intended to be a temporary project, and was living on borrowed time. Towards the end of its tenure, the club could call the likes of Patrice Bäumel, Young Marco and Job Jobse residents and was perceived by many to be the best club in the world. Lucky for us, some of the team behind Trouw have gone on to set up a new venue in Amsterdam – de School.
2. Plastic People
On January 2nd 2015, London’s legendary institute threw its last public party, featuring residents Floating Points and Four Tet playing all night long, Plastic People, originally on Oxford Street then moving to the heart of Shoredtich, was an integral part of London’s underground scene, and was at the heart of the dubstep scene, playing home to the FWD>> nights. Even though the club may be closed forever, the recording from the closing party lives on and you can listen to the six-hour set here.
Having garnered a reputation for having the best and most adventerous programming in underground and experimental dance music in Amsterdam, the closure of Studio80 will leave a huge a whole in the city’s musical landscape. It’s closure came as a surprise to many, when former ID&T co-founder Duncan Stutterheim sold the space on to the owners of rival space, Disco Dolly late last year.
4. The Twisted Pepper
Ireland’s best venue for underground-electronic music (with the oddest name) closed its doors in Dublin in the summer of last year after seven years of booking some of the best talent around. The team behind the venue stated that they had ‘the itch to move on and develop something new,’ and in doing so, threw one weekend-long bender.
5. Stattbad Wedding
“All palaces are temporary palaces.” Scottish artist Robert Montgomery once wrote, and nothing could be truer. What was quickly becoming Berlin’s best club, fell to the perils of bureaucracy as the city permanently closed the doors on the former swimming pool, after it was discovered the venue has vastly failed to meet a multitude of safety requirements. Having never had clearance to operate as a club in the first, it was a true embodiment of underground, counterculturalism. But also as an accident waiting to happen, its closure is probably for the best.
6. The Arches
Originally established in 1991, the team behind Glasgow’s finest music venue for electronic music went into administration mid-last year. The venue came to fame with the help of former residents Slam, who brought Underworld and Daft Punk to perform prior to their global fandom. After the city’s licensing board forced the venue to close at midnight, the venue’s future was untenable, after consistant meddling from local authorities. As well as nightly activities, The Arches was also a live music venue and theatre and its closure leaves a huge cultural gap in Glasgow’s art scene.
Japan hasn’t had an easy time of it when it comes to dance music culture, and with limited options available when it came to club spaces, the loss of Tokyo’s Air to the scene’s circuit is a big one. Having opening in 2001, the club has played host to the likes of nights by Rush Hour, Innervisions and The Bunker. It’s New Year’s Eve bonanza turned out to be the venues final hurrah, with no discernable reason yet given as to why the decision was made, and what –if any- its plans for the future may be.
8. Fiese Remise
Clubs in Berlin are renowned for coming and going, their transient existence likened to that of the cities artist dwellers. Situated next to the river in the heart of Kreuzberg, Fiese Remise gained the reputation for being a cult, hip venue for underground Berlin talent. All hope is not yet lost, as the team is still holding events in nearby venues and who knows, maybe there could be an eventual return.
9. Plan B
Brixton has never had a good time of it when it came to venue closures, and Plan B’s closure last year is just another causality in the list of venue deaths. With a 24-hour license and Funktion-One soundsystem, Plan B was famed for its Louche nights that played host to the likes of Omar-S, Kerri Chandler, Moodymann and more. All is not lost, as new club Phonox has sprung up in its place.
10. RISE Club
Like it’s name suggests, RISE has been providing early morning events for those in Boston who like to party early, or just really, really late. After 16 years in the business, its no alcohol policy and great programming brought a new, progressive element to the US circuit with Danny Tenaglia playing the club closing in April last year.