Passing Clouds: Musicians reclaim Dalston venue after bailiffs change locks

PUBLISHED: 12:19 20 June 2016 | UPDATED: 16:30 20 June 2016

The group celebrate after their show of people power. Picture:

The group celebrate after their show of people power. Picture:

A display of people power saw protesters take back a Dalston music venue after bailiffs changed the locks overnight.

Protesters at the venue on Thursday. Picture: Protesters at the venue on Thursday. Picture:

Hundreds of people, most of them musicians, flocked to Passing Clouds in Richmond Road on Thursday after a cleaner was denied access by two security guards.

They used ladders to climb through a second-floor window and took back possession of the arts hub, which is in the middle of its 10th anniversary celebrations.

The venue was bought by Landhold Developments in November, in what Passing Clouds have called a “secret sale”.

The new owners initially gave management a lease extension until August but it appears that deal changed, leading the private security company to move into the building – which was once the Gazette printworks.

Hundreds of people turned out to help reclaim the building. Picture: Hundreds of people turned out to help reclaim the building. Picture:

Since reclaiming the venue, people have remained inside 24 hours a day and events have gone ahead as planned, including an EP launch by Mercury Prize-winning artist Speech Debelle.

Campaign manager Lizzy Bishop said the act set an example for all independent music venues.

“We are up for a fight,” she told the Gazette. “We want to show them [the owners] that we are part of the community and what we do is really important.”

The three-month anniversary celebrations include performances from international artists including Lee Scratch Perry, Jazzie B of Soul II Soul, Norman Jay and Maxi Jazz of Faithless.

The scheduled events went ahead as planned after the venue was reclaimed. Picture: The scheduled events went ahead as planned after the venue was reclaimed. Picture:

Almost 5,000 supporters have signed a petition to protect the venue and a crowdfunder has been set up to raise £25,000 to support the campaign, which is also being backed by politicians.

MP Meg Hillier said: “Live music venues such as Passing Clouds are part of what makes Hackney and Dalston a magnet for creatives.

“It is vital developers and planners recognise it is venues like these that contribute so much to make areas desirable. If these are lost, some of the very reasons why Hackney is such a popular place to live and work are undermined.”

Mark Davyd, CEO of the Music Venues Trust, said the venue played a crucial role in the development of emerging artists.

It comes just weeks after independent music venue The Silver Bullet in Finsbury Park closed after being bought by the owners of the Burger and Lobster restaurant chain, who will reopen it as a bar.

The Passing Clouds petition can be viewed here, and the crowdfunder here.

When approached by the Gazette, Landhold Developments declined to comment.

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

Hackney will host the Virgin Sport Festival of Fitness in 2018, including its annual half marathon event in May.

Yesterday, 14:30

Mauricio Pochettino insists containing Manchester City will not be on his mind on Saturday as he believes Tottenham can beat the Premier League’s unbeaten leaders.

Yesterday, 14:00

O’s visit Boro in first round of FA Trophy this weekend

Yesterday, 13:40

Each week the Gazette takes to the streets to unearth something being manufactured right here in Hackney. This week we visit Anni Kriesche who started out making soap in her Lower Clapton kitchen five years ago

Yesterday, 13:30

Dawid Malan enjoyed every minute of the Australia pace barrage he had to withstand on his way to a maiden hundred which has breathed new belief into England’s Ashes campaign.

Yesterday, 13:28

Former thinktank boss Gavin Poole tells the Gazette about the Here East tech hub he runs at the Olympic Park.

Yesterday, 12:34

Phil Taylor is determined to close out his illustrious career with a 17th world title at Alexandra Palace, writes Ziad Chaudry.

Yesterday, 12:16

Hackney-born Anthony Yarde retained his WBO Intercontinental and European light-heavyweight titles in style at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists