Are super djs killing London's clubland?

Discussion in 'Drum & Bass' started by losty, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. losty

    losty losty2010

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    Pretty interesting read(y)

    Dance music is supposed to be the epitome of DIY culture. In the late 1980s, when wide-eyed evangelists began to spread the word that a new vibe was emerging from underground raves and warehouse parties, the most enticing thing about it was that the crowd was the star: the action took place in the audience, not in the DJ booth. Flash forward a couple of decades and it's clear that things have changed. Now, it's all about big-name DJs – the Tiestos, the David Guettas or the DeadMau5s. The celebrity culture that has infiltrated British society is alive and well in clubland.

    However, Fabric and Matter, two world-renowned London clubs that have built their businesses on this model, now face financial difficulty. Matter, located beneath the O2 dome since 2008, has closed for the summer after its owners admitted huge financial losses. Fabric, which has been on the site of a former meat factory in Smithfield for more than a decade, has just announced that it is to be sold.

    So what's the connection? The problem is that booking well-known acts costs money, and when times are tough, high fees can compound other financial problems. Matter has suffered hugely from the closure of the Jubilee line, as well as other transport issues that made clubbers reluctant to make the journey to London's docklands. Fabric, which is based in central London and was voted DJ magazine's second best club in the world last year, has no such problems as it's usually rammed to the rafters. However, it is probably being sold to help owners Keith Reilly and Cameron Leslie pay Matter's debts.

    One major promoter tells me that venues are held to ransom by agencies increasing their fees for big-name acts, despite the difficulties of many clubs in the current financial climate.

    "People are going out less, so agencies realise thatacts which guaranteed sales will be of a premium – hence raising their fees," says Pete Jordan of Spectrum, a night that has been staged at clubs across theUK, including Matter. "However, this means clubs have less stability on a week-to-week basis as their budget is stretched. That and raised costs such as travel, drinks prices, and overseas acts costing more because of the weak pound."

    Jordan continues: "The business model at the moment is similar to that of a football club. You need big acts to ensure success, but the big acts are of a premium, so it's either sell out or nobody comes out. It's a short-term approach that will ultimately damage the quality of events. None of these acts will have shows in the UK before long. Greed is the key here, agents get paranoid if they think somebody other than them is making money."

    Matter and Fabric are world-class venues. If they both go, it will be a huge loss to London clubland.

    Fabric's owners suggest the venue may continue with its current branding and staff under a new owner. It is a remarkably successful venture, and is unrivalled in London for its ultra-cool lineups that attract an eager following. Yet it's just as possible that the new owners may have different ideas: The End, the central London club venue previously owned by Mr C, reopened last year as The Den, which is not held in the same esteem as its predecessor.

    The capital's clubland is already struggling after the recession, and faces increasing pressure from police and local authorities. Herbal, the small Shoreditch venue that played host to drum'n'bass icons such as Goldie and Grooverider, lost its licence last year, and nearby Plastic People, a centre for the early dubstep scene, has just announced it will close for the summer. These are, however, the kinds of places that you might expect to face a tough battle to survive, as it's hard for them to compete with the lineups of bigger venues. Fabric and Matter were supposed to be untouchable, with vast resources at their disposal, fabulous advertising budgets, lots of permanent staff and few problems with the authorities thanks to being located well away from residential areas.

    Cynics might suggest that the death of London's clubland could prove a boon for the dance music scene, a chance to return to the halcyon days of rave. After all, wasn't everything much better when we were all lost "somewhere in a field in Hampshire"?

    The reality is that if licensed venues which pushing underground music close, more people will be forced to visit unsafe, illegal sites where the authorities will struggle to control issues of noise and nuisance. That might seem preferable to some than the X-Factorisation of clubland, but the day may come when we look back at memories of venues such as Fabric and Matter, and remember how incredibly lucky we were.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2010/jun/03/superstar-djs-london-clubland
     
  2. richie_stix

    richie_stix gomby plz

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    interesting read... but for me, big name dj's don't do it? i think less big names have more to prove so pull it out the bag more often!
     
  3. Joey AdhD

    Joey AdhD sweaty scouser

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    it is one of the factors but there are upteen underlaying factors why they are struggling....
     
  4. Thin and crispy

    Thin and crispy Active Member

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    the beauty of drum n bass is how cheap the DJ's are... in no other genre can u pay 10 pounds and see 4+ big names in the scene other than DnB, including international artists/DJ's.
    When u have these house/electro/trance guys charging thousands for a set, in times like this its not suprising to see losses.
     
  5. BDS

    BDS Active Member

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    A few years ago I was speaking to a friend of a friend who is quite a big promoter in the midlands and he was telling me that people like Andy C & Randall who charge extortionate amounts for a couple of hours are going to eventually kill the d&b scene. I cant remember the exact prices but I know it was over £1000 for an hour if it was one of the larger raves.

    So in essence greed is even killing our own scene, One that came out of bedrooms and council flats back in the early 90's. Think about that next time you see Andy knockin' back those pints behind the decks.

    Maybe It would be better if everything were to go back to day zero, although personally I cant see that happening.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  6. dnbkingz

    dnbkingz bollocks

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    Greed has been known to kill everything.

    I'm not surprised the big boys would be charging those kind of prices.

    But as previously stated, it's not the ONLY factor involved here.

    But unless you have a name people can associate with, it's hard to get anyone interested.
    It's a never ending circle.
     
  7. Subjekt Music

    Subjekt Music Well-Known Member

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    But.....if you want the best sometimes you have to pay that little bit more. Sure paying a lot for someone like Andy may seem extreme or whatever but you know by booking him you are gonna get an insane two hours or whatever of the best dj in the world and a club full of happy punters
     
  8. BDS

    BDS Active Member

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    In my opinion it just shows that money means a hell of a lot more to people like andy these days than love for the music.

    and yeah you would get a packed club but you have to remember promoters dont get much if anything from the bar etc so its eating away at the people who have put the real work in's profit to line someone like andy's pockets, the guy must make a good 5 grand a week off dj fee's alone, are you seriously telling me that there isnt something wrong with that? who need £5000 p/w?? Its greed pure and simple and I dont like it personally.

    If you watch any documentary on jungle back in the day, the way the scene is today is exactly what they were spitting venom at, and now look at it.
     
  9. charlie131

    charlie131 Well-Known Member

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    no one needs 5 grand a week but if your that good then you should get the props for doing it, i mean look at any footballer there on £100,000+ a week.. also if you book andy c its pretty much garuanted that hte club will be rammed what ever the night and so the promotors would still make the monies :afro:
     
  10. losty

    losty losty2010

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    Just a random guess....

    Say if a tix cost £15 in a 1500 cap club and all sold out
    about 50% of the tixs money goes to promoters, £7.50x1500=11250
    11250-2000(andy C 2 hrs)=9250
    Now lets say other DJs charge 500 per hr and its a 8hrs event(10pm-6am)
    500x6=3000
    9250-3000=6250

    Promoters with £6250 left
    But dont forget you need money for promotion, printing, posters, internet, servers, wages, tax....
    So i dont really think promoters making much if any money at all....
     
  11. BDS

    BDS Active Member

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    Exactly what I was trying to point out although everyone seems to have missed the point completely. Too busy validating Andy's Greed.

    also, mc's arent free mate, so you gotta factor those in too aswell as security etc....
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  12. SLow

    SLow Quadrospazzed life-glug

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    Good post, I agree, and I hope that more people go back to illegal raves because of this.

    I`m not going to argue against artists charging high fees, they will charge whatever they think they deserve/can get away with..if the fees too high just don't book the artist and eventually they will be forced to drop their price.
     
  13. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

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    Woah no one is overcharging anyone here.. This is because of the government and banks surely?
     
  14. hazdaman100

    hazdaman100 Bum 'n Face

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    When did fabric say they were selling up?! Mere specualtions
     
  15. Freek

    Freek Lets get freeeeeeky

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    I do agree that big name djs I mean andy must be makin a mint from just dj fees plus all the money that's coming in from one of the most commercial dnb labels out there. I'm sure he and others can drop their fees to help keep the scene alive!

    ---------- Post added at 19:25 ---------- Previous post was at 19:24 ----------

    Public announcement cpl of days aglo mate
     
  16. losty

    losty losty2010

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    You been living in a cave???:confused:
    Its even listed on their own website about they gone administration.
     
  17. Harry3

    Harry3 Chuki

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    bring back the Hampshire fields! My county needs more excitement
     
  18. DJ NUERA

    DJ NUERA 5HEAD

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    Metalheadz are starting up warehouse parties soon. I reckon that could be interesting, and probably not as costly.
     
  19. Moskit

    Moskit :rodigan: Staff Member

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    Its the all time question really innit...

    There is no correct answer imo...

    You've got the "look who put them there"/"there would be no origination of the scene without them" arguements & to be fair, there is merit in both!

    The originators of any electronic music scene in this era, are either through production or DJ'ing & wether you agree with inflated fees or not, imo, its niether here nor there, they're there because they were there at the start, but...

    Saying that...

    No relatively new DJs in D&B charge as much as the established heavy hitters...

    So, I think Andy/Goldie really are pushing their luck with the amount they charge at the mo + riders, it is disgusting & frankly they should be ashamed...

    Its a toughie...

    Meh...

    Vicious circle question.

    I'll change my mind tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  20. Prospekt

    Prospekt Active Member

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    Good points made Mos, definitely agree.

    But in terms of effort and skill if anyone has the right to charge what they do it's Andy. Goldie is a truly piss poor DJ and most of what he charges is probably down to his 'celebrity' status so to speak.

    Out of interest, what do you reckon Goldie charges?