Edinburgh’s gig scene has received what seems like its monthly blow with the news that Studio 24 is to close its doors.
The team running the Calton Road venue has announced that after 22 years, they are “gutted” at having to give up a long-running fight with what they describe as “complaining neighbours / harsh council enforced sound restrictions”.
Over the years, many acts have graced its stage – under its previous monicker Calton Studios the most notable band to appear there would have been Nirvana, as well as memorable shows by the likes of Pere Ubu, Julian Cope and Tommy Smith.
However, the former TV studio also gained a reputation for a place where youngsters often received their first exposure to live music with clubs like the under-18 Mini-Mission.
In a Facebook post the club cites “years of investing thousands upon thousands in soundproofing / legal fees in order to stay open.”
The venue has indeed had many battles with officialdom, around 11 years ago a ‘Save Studio 24 campaign’ was launched following complaints for neighbours about noise from the venue and its departing patrons.
At that time – just around the time that The Venue was also shut down and The Bongo Club moved away from nearby New Street – much was made of the new flats being constructed without sufficient soundproofing, to people presumably too thick to spot a presumably noisy music venue just along from their new abode – a scenario which has reared its head many times since across the city, and particularly at Studio 24.
The final straw seems to be the news that “another license hearing could be looming, therefore threatening our ability to stay open to the public.”
They close by saying that “We feel that it’s better to jump than be pushed,” adding that “perhaps us leaving the entertainment circuit in Edinburgh might make the powers that be realise that a shake-up of how a capital city’s music scene should be supported.”
The ‘Music Is Audible’ (MIA) group campaigning for better treatment of live music in the city said that they were “saddened” at Studio 24’s decision despite discussions by MIA with City of Edinburgh Council over the past two years which had resulted in a relaxation of the so-called ‘inaudibility clause’.
However, despite more than 3500 people signing online petition aimed at persuading Edinburgh Council’s licensing board to take some kind of action to save the venue, it has since emerged that Studio 24, situated close to the new £150m New Waverley scheme, has already been sold to a property developer.