License to chill

Re: ‘Indie Clubs hit back'

(issue 383)

I don't think Eros/Elite affects the smaller clubs in Edinburgh. The majority of nights I work with are speCialist music nights. Whether it's a night like Scratch, which IS devoted to hip hop, or Tackno, Which is devoted to its fun factor, they attract a different type of punter than the kind you WOuld find at Eros/Elite. The big clubs like Gaia and Revolutions are gomg to feel the brunt of that kind of thing, not the small clubs.

I do agree there is a lot of change in clubland at the moment and some promoters are finding it hard to get their audience; the factors contributing to that situation are: I. the lack of good quality venues; I’m not meaning to have a go at any eXisting venue, but the general standard is pretty low.

2. the licenSing laws. In the Festival, for example, some bars can stay open until 3am; not exactly great news for your club promoter who has to charge to cover venue hire and puinCity. In many other Cities, bars close at 11pm. In Edinburgh, we are lucky enough to have a lam license, so Why are the club licenses only until 3am? Some people don’t want to pay £7 for only two hours of entertainment.

3. the emergence of bars With DJs. This is great for the working DJ, but it may stop people gomg on to a club if they have had a ’near club experience' in the bar beforehand. lam not against bars With DJs, qwte the opposite, but it affects club attendance.

Put all that together With the

massive amount of venues in Edinburgh more than iS needed I would hope to see the rise of some good quality venues and the demise of the ones that are taking the piss. Hopefully a balance can be found soon.

As for the violence factor, any town, any weekend is gomg to get a few pissed-up lads causing trouble. That has always been the case. I don’t think for one second it would deter clubbers from gOing out, maybe just amid the places that have got a bad reputation.

I have been involved With clubs in Edinburgh for over sixteen years (yes, I am knackeredl). There is a lot of change gomg on, but if we wait until the dust settles, we will still have one of the most varied club scenes around. That is one thing that I don't believe Will change. No matter how many corporate clubs there are, people still want chOice, and in Edinburgh we are lucky enough to have an excellent selection of nights for every musical style you can think of. How many Cities can say that?

Nicki Forrest via e-mar'l

Lowdown on Hi life Arts cash crisis

We at (3nd Iron Theatre Company are organising our first major t0ur of Scotland and have been given a Scotland Onstage grant by the Scottish Arts CounCiI to enable us to take our work into the Wider Scottish community. We are based in Edinburgh and an important part of our touring plan is to perform in the Highlands and Islands.

I am therefore extremely

concerned to learn that Hi-Arts, the organisation to which we w0u|d have applied for necessary further funding, Will no longer be making awards to companies based outside its own region. It has Suffered a large funding cut from Highland and Islands Enterprise and has deCIded only to give grants to local companies. Apparently these deCisions have been made Without the consultation of the SAC.

Several things are Worrying. HIE has said it is about busmess development not arts funding. It says t0uring theatre companies are not developmental in local business terms and, as only five companies were given money to come to the area last year, shall not be missed. Hi-Arts has said the deCiSion to fund only Highland and Island based companies was a position it was working towards anyway, even though the Promoters' Arts Network in the Highlands and, apparently, the theatre companies based there, believe this is a terrible deCiSion Which Will be extremely detrimental.

On the one hand, companies like ours are being encouraged by the SAC to go to the Highlands and Islands While, on the other, the message from the HIE seems to be that we should stay away. Unless something is done, we may very well not be able to afford to fulfil the plans we have been encouraged to make. That would be an extreme loss to us and, I believe, to the new audience we were about to entertain.

Judith Doherty, producer

Grid Iron Theatre Company

via email

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13-27 Apr 2000 THE lIST119