Campaign to save Brixton Hill Studios from closure launched by South London scene
With Academy still closed, a second pivotal part of South London music scene faces closure
Brixton Hill Studios, a rehearsal and recording studio in Brixton and a key part of South London scene used by everyone from The Damned to Shame and Black Midi, is facing closure after landlords have proposed a significant rent rise.
But supporters of the studio are rallying to put pressue on the local MP to step in and save what they say is a significant local community asset.
Wet Leg, Brix Smith, The Orb, Wu-Lu, The RAH Band, Jay Raynor, Hot Sauce Pony, Rumer, Fat White Family, JOHN, Tippa Irie, The Monochrome Set, The Others, The Fades, New Dad, The Early Mornings, Big Joanie, Deadletter, Dinosaur Pile Up, Dust Coda, Deaf Havan, Dead Patrons, iDoris, Sivu, Benedict Cork, and Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers are among the other bands to use the studio.
With the future of Brixton Academy still held in the balance, awaiting a decision from Lambeth Council, a second closure to a key part of the local music scene is being described as “heartbreaking” on social media.
A change.org petition was launched yesterday and has been signed by nearly 300 people – local supporters of the studio are being urged to sign it and also to write a short letter to the local MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, at email@example.com
Here’s the studio’s announcement in full:
ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT THE FUTURE OF BRIXTON HILL STUDIOS:
It’s with the heaviest of hearts that I write to you confirming that South London’s favourite “playground” for adults is being threatened with closure at the end of the Summer. We just about made it to raised years but more astoundingly we managed to navigate a pandemic and multiple lockdowns (and not without your considerable support and the financial input from the Arts Council England).
We managed to survive when many of our brothers and sisters in the industry didn’t. Unfortunately the one thing we can not compete with is an astronomical rent rise. Yep, that’s right we are being priced out of our home. It’s been a rocky road to recovery but in recent months we’ve seen the studio reaching full capacity as everyone from the pros, weekend warriors and the rising rockstars of tomorrow have been eager to create again. We are proud that from the very first day we opened our doors we’ve experienced a diverse range of artists, bands and performers, all from differing backgrounds and influences.
Many of you have also become friends and comrades too. There are multiple associations and partnerships we’ve made including our favourite venue, Windmill Brixton and local music charity School Ground Sounds who do essential work educating and engineering music related opportunities for the local youth population. BXHS is more than an industrial unit with some amps and drums stuck inside it, we’ve become a part of the community, a community it has been a pleasure to serve and support the last 10 years.As well as rehearsals we have made some fantastic records here, not only on tape and digital but there was also the time someone insisted we mixed their songs on to cassette. We’ve put on some unforgettable all dayers, Christmas parties and put out a few records of your awesome tunes. We held open days and band merch markets.
We’ve housed music teachers and their aspiring students from the get go, making sure everyone has somewhere to make noise. Some of us remember the opening night party where we received a surprise visit from PIXIES‘s Black Francis. For many of us this place has been a constant in our lives since the days it was a single room studio at the back of Unit 2.So what are we going to do now? We are doing everything we can to keep BXHS running. If not here then at a new site. Even if we have to shut down for a little while we shall let you know with as much notice as possible so you can make alternative arrangements.
It’s a big old job to dismantle and rebuild somewhere else. We only have 4 months in which to find somewhere suitable but also that’s within budget and sustainable for the next 10-20 years. But this is something we need, right? The few people we have shared this information with have already asked “is there anything we can do”? For now you can sign up to our mailing list (see our blog) and join the Brixton Hill Studios Preservation Society. All progress will be posted there before the wider socials.In the meantime if you would like to share some pictures and stories of your times here at BXHS please do so on our socials or tag us in in your stories and posts.
All the emotional support given to us helps us to fight the good fight and, in every sense, go into battle. “There is history in this place There are dragons to be chased” Skull by Sebadoh
Watch this space, as they say…
Kind regards,Stephen & The BXHS Team