Some music venues have a reputation known around the world, and London’s Ministry of Sound is definitely one of them. With a nightclub hosting dance music’s hottest DJs, a regular radio show, and a network of record labels, the Ministry of Sound enterprise has been a staple in electronic music in the UK and around the world since 1991. But recent development issues in the city have threatened the club’s staying power.
This isn’t the first time the issue has arisen. Since 2009, MoS has been winning battles against the proposal to build a 41-story housing unit only a few meters from the club’s entrance. If a residential unit were to be located nearby a club with a loud, legendary sound system bumping until 6am on weekend nights, there’s no doubt noise complaints would be out of control, and the club would be shut down.
It’s already happened in the same London neighborhood before. The club’s co-founder James Palumbo explained it in the UK’s Daily Mail earlier this year: “We’ve seen exactly the same thing close another club down the road – it’s a genuine threat to our existence. As for us moving somewhere else, how could we find another site where we can be open 24 hours a day and make as much noise as we like? And anyway, why should we?”
The back-and-forth wavering is about to come to a close. On November 9th, the hearing date and decision of the development proposal will take place. The Ministry’s website says that the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has recognized the historical and cultural importance of the dance music institution in the past, and promises the club is “safe on [his] watch”. But there’s no way to know for sure what the outcome will be, so it’s in our best interest to take action!
A petition encouraging fans of the club to campaign against the housing project for the sake of the club has been going around for a while, but it’s receiving extra attention as the decision approaches. In today’s issue of the London Standard, an open letter was published to Mayor Johnson, and it couldn’t be more true: “Ministry of Sound has been at the heart of London for a quarter of a century. We’ve earned our right to stay here.”
If you’ve ever been to the Ministry of Sound, either as a tourist or a regular, or even if you’ve enjoyed their albums and radio shows, consider taking a minute to sign it. It’s a fantastic London club, and it would be such a shame to see it go. Click here to check out the Save Our Club initiative!