The iconic live music venue, The Borderline, is set to close this summer. The historic London venue, which was taken over by promoters DHP Family in 2016, is being forced to shut, in its current Soho location, and will close its doors for the last time, on the 31st of August 2019.
According to a statement released today, the reason for the iconic venue’s closure is due to rising rents in the West End. Blaming rising rents, licensing pressures and the redevelopment of the building where it is housed, the owners of The Borderline – which will close its doors at the end of August – said it was a sad day for everyone who loves live music and believes in grassroots venues.
Speaking about why they have come to the decision to shut the doors of The Borderline, Managing Director, George Atkins, said: “This has been a difficult decision, but given intentions by the landlord to increase the rent significantly for a second time since we took it over in 2016 as well as plans to redevelop the building housing the Borderline, we now know the venue doesn’t have a long-term future so it makes no sense for us to continue to invest.
“I don’t see how it is possible [to run a premier grassroots music venue in the West End] when faced with all the difficulties from business rates, increasing rents and licensing pressure.”
However, in their statement owners of The Borderline, DHP also revealed that they have retained The Borderline’s name and are currently considering relocating to a new site. The historic live music venue, the Borderline, has played host to many famous faces over the years. As a grassroots venue, The Borderline, played host to the likes of Amy Winehouse, Oasis, and Rage Against the Machine early in their careers.
The news of its closure is another hard hitting blow for London’s embattled night-time economy, which has taken embroiled with closures. The Borderline was one of the last remaining live music venues, in Soho, after the closure of the Astoria and the Marquee club, among others.
The closure of the historic basement from the scene is likely to call into question whether similar businesses can survive, with more than a third of the most important grassroots venues in the capital closing, since 2007.
The management have said it believed running a grassroots music venue in the West End had become impossible, and that it made no sense to continue to invest in the 300-capacity concert space. The news was revealed today in a statement from the promoters. Speaking in the statement, DHP’s Managing Director George Akins, said: “We’ve had an amazing two years at Borderline with some fantastic shows and want to thank everyone for their support from agents, promoters and artists to all the thousands who have come to the gigs and club nights.
“We’ve put our all into trying to revive this iconic venue but unfortunately, it has been impossible to turn into a sustainable operation due to so many external factors. This is a sad day for all of us who love live music and believe in grassroots venues.”
The Borderline opened in the early 1980s and initially hosted emerging rock, blues and country music. Texas performed a week before the release of their 1989 hit single, ‘I Don’t Want a Lover’. Among other famous faces to have played the iconic venue, Blur performed in 1990 before signing their first record deal and the following year. While, REM appeared just after the release of their seventh album, ‘Out of Time’, before the likes of Bloc Party, Razorlight, the Cribs and Mumford & Sons kicked off the noughties.