Edinburgh’s independent club owners have hit out at the new generation of mega-venues moving into the City. Speaking as a member of the Edinburgh Independent Club Owners and Promoters Assoc ration, venue manager George Duffrn has accused the City of Edinburgh CouncH of fav0urrng large-capacity venues wrth big financial backing above their smaller rivals. The MOO-capacity Eros/Elite, owned by the First Leisure group, has aroused much debate since opening last November in Fountarnbrrdge. Rival venue managers are concerned about its impact on the smaller clubs and its alleged problems with vrolence. ’When the council started prosecuting the Independent venues for fly~postrng last year, the arm was to make life very hard for the small clubs before the multinationals came in,’ claimed Duffin, who manages The Venue in Calton Road, ’You have to appreCrate the amount of money that these people have, how much went into Fountainpark and is going into the new Greensrde Place and Ocean Terminus deveIOpments. What goes straight into the counc iI coffers is staggering and way beyond the independents. I think the council has motives which they don't declare up front '

Naturally, the City of Edinburgh Council dismisses this allegation, and inSists that it cares about clubbing in the capital. ’Both the cocincil and the licensing board recognise the Importance of clubbing for many people in Edinburgh,’ said C0uncillor Dougie Kerr, convenor of Edinburgh’s licensing board. 'We re also clear that

the board treats all venue ot;)erators in the same way. There's no question of the board disc riminating in favour of any type of venue operator, large or small.’ Kevrn Marshall, the venue manager of Eros/Elite, said the smaller clubs were smarting from losing their monopoly 'It's more a case of the small independents not liking the big corporates destroying what they have in the city, whic h is a monopoly,’ he said, Gerry Ivlc Donald of Albatross leisure, another member of the Independent Club O\.‘.’tiet'8 and Promoters Assoc ration, \\'lII(lI represents fourteen clubs and over £10 promoters, said the arrival of Eros/Elite ias not been as bad as many feared. Although his clubs, which include The Ark and ('tcilcl, have much the same music policy as Eros/Elite, he says clubbers have been loyal. 'Wlien the club first opened, obvrously a lot of people had a look and there was, initially, a depletion of nurnbers,’ he said. 'But the past six weeks have seen the numbers spiralling upwards again. Our door policy across all units reflects a more mature clubber, and Eros/Elite serves an element of clubbers that didn't have a venue prevrously' What then of the rumours that Eros/[lite is suffering problems of Violence? According to Iothian and Borders police, even tl‘ese stories l‘ave beer: exaggerated. ’There isn't a oartic tilar‘ly bad problem of ‘.’I()l(‘l‘.((‘ out there," said a spokesniai‘. ’Although there have been incidents, that's to be expected \".'li(‘tt you have such a large number of oeooie in one place ' Kevin I\Ilarshall, of Libs/Elite, also denied the allegations of violenc e, 'Iliey are completely unfoundecl,’ he said. ’W'nen you open a piace of this s./e, you will always l‘.(I‘.'(‘ a bad element trying to get ii‘. The message that they \.\.eren't welcome was struck home hard II‘ the first coupte of months, and not‘. they don't even bother ' rSimone Bair‘d' THE LIST SAYS: There's been a phenomenal amount of change in Edinburgh's cIubland and the pessimism felt by many promoters and clubgoers :s tindersta'iclable. But even though the ’end is nigh' prophesies now seem exc essrve, one question remains It is not about whether iiros/i- lite is good or bad, it is about choice If the success of the corporate giants forces sii‘aitei‘ clubs out of business rand remember, there are more to comei that car‘. only be bad for clubbers. Worse, if people begin to believe the rumours of Violence, exaggerated or not, there is a real danger they \‘.c)i‘.'t conie out at all, staying home for their o\.\n safety. And who ‘.'v|ll that benefit P [)c) you agree? Tel/ us at I‘eac t@/ist.c oil/c

The Quotes

'l've been involved with people who have hurt others. All I am is a painter. We never really know who we’re selling to or what they do with their lives. Picasso did a picture of Stalin.’

Peter Howson exp/ai/is riis uric/er".vor‘/d c/ea/irigs.

'l'll be going to the pub that night and I'll make sure it's one that's showing Eurosport.’

/ari Rankin on the prospec t of watching the forthcoming 'l V adaptation of his Rebus stories

'I'm surprised he's got away with being thought of as a nice person for so long.’ justine Frisc Irma/in on c‘X-/()I’(’I' [)amori Alba/ii

'I think it will be all

right, unless the

tabloids find out I

was born a boy.’ Sara Cox (left! on taking over the Radio I Brmi’cfast Show from Monday 3 April

B 111 l e t n S News in bite-size bits

GLASGOW BAND THE NATIONAL ANTI- Moby, Jay Kay, and 'aiiitc)'es‘., alone AMNESTY Companies interested CINEFILM nas r’ori‘bec: VIVISECTION Society Ken Livingstone, (tese'i, a"c) cr‘at (H's, INTERNATIONAL IS in taking part should home in the UK’s first has declared April to hopes 20,000 people reac Mira a “e on: o" collaborating with call 0131 226 7942. National Student Music be World Lab Animal will attend. Other ‘>8‘)t>r" If you'd ice to Theatre Workshop on 1H: ncp \ 0m...“ -(.. Awards The four-o'ec e, Month. The focus of events include vigils lien rasse 220,000 to' this year's Edinburgh ,e ,,~:e..>-s :e ‘.\.o'\ who were aiso finarsts the campaign, which at Quintiles Ltd in t)ec>t>ie ‘.'.'I7.". cf sabi tires, Fringe. In a bid to __ , , , cm

in The’s Jam Factor is calling for freedom Edinburgh on Fri 14 & ca Ryan l"."<‘i( we on provide an alternative me» ~ competition last year, of information on Sat 15 Apr. Contact (it -3': H/ 08/31) to 'trashy comedy and , _ (I I K; g ,t were declared the UK's animal experiments, is Lucy Wiltshire on 0131 Nternat ‘.e you mum commercial ~~~~ vev "‘e e'ctai‘ sat pest student band, a mass march and 667 6725 for details. i“. a tee the. trek to sponsorship', the , ---- "1)“:\i'pdfilpdtjt“ beat'ng off ccmtiezrzion rally in London on Sat c APABII IiY sc ()IIANI) U! “W He‘- 'i«‘i"<=' Stockbridge theatre is a'. c:e"t .2 ‘rom 200 others the 15 Apr, leaving Hyde mtg“31)an“macro, to 'a se "‘c)r‘e\ ‘cir planning a \{>"'_'(\ pm, 5; tum" s”: orzxe III(. uoes a Park at 1pm and “(sum-c Wilma m ( gm” i'la'tia'ctcis It)! '."t)‘st‘ programme of ’more a \3: r =. my t n recording session a: the finishing in Trafalgar KEIHMHJM) ppm,er T'It)s call Ite‘eea \.'.a'ci substance and less ._;,, ;\ - -:.=..v~ yo .wtee'c BBC's studios Next gig -s Square. The (m r” 2c) 3”), ti”. my. <>~ of st -:".1 tmt‘s c)“, surface', entitled A , a 3) mm

at Iler'ot Watt Universay organisation, which (my“Hymn(,()r.1,()i,(;ir ar‘cl do send a Defenders Of Human \ x t,

On Suri 30 Apr

6 THE lIST .30 Witty


has the support of

banana fairi‘s,


Rights Festival.