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Magic Roundabout: Fans of Old Street venue battle to keep the music playing as Burger Bear licence nears expiry

PUBLISHED: 11:28 17 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:10 05 December 2017

A Burger Bear sign at Old Street roundabout last year. Picture: Ken Mears

A Burger Bear sign at Old Street roundabout last year. Picture: Ken Mears

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DJs and clubbers are fighting to keep Old Street’s Magic Roundabout open after its licence expires at the end of the year.

An application has been made to extend the licence for another 12 months but noise complaints from neighbours in flats overlooking the roundabout are a possible stumbling block.

The venue, accessed through a “secret door” in the Old Street Tube station, has been run by House of Burger Bear since it opened on a temporary licence in 2015. Delays in TfL’s redevelopment of the station now mean it could stay longer, but Islington’s noise complaint officers say they have received numerous phone calls from angry neighbours.

The venue has a coffee shop, pastry hut, three food stalls and two bars, which at weekends host 500-capacity parties until 11pm.

Many are hoping the parties will continue after the meeting a week on Monday.

One DJ said: “Having been part of the DJ team since the day it opened, it’s been such a great space for the local and international communities, always looking to innovate and create safe, fun and open spaces for all ages.

“It’s such a positive, great space for everyone in the local area and beyond and would be such a loss to Old Street and Shoreditch to see it go.”

Another added: “I have been at the venue as a visitor and also as an artist. This is a gem of London, a place I have recommended to numerous visitors to the city, and quite simply an integral meeting point for the area.”

Another fan said it had become a “London landmark” and was “like a second home to them”.

Some people whose actual home is near the roundabout have a different view.

One person who lives in the Bezier building opposite the roundabout said they were subjected to “regular very loud and late night noise from the Magic Roundabout”.

Another said: “The bass from their music is clearly audible through our closed double glazed windows, Most nights we just put up with it and wait until 11pm when it finally goes quiet. But it is a constant annoyance.”

Burger Bear was in the news last year when the Gazette revealed hundreds of crowdfunders who helped the fast food joint to open were still owed thousands of pounds in rewards by founder Tom Reaney.

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