Top 5 Closed Venues and Clubs in the UK | Features | MN2S

Many great venues are closed before their time. Here is our list of some of the best.

Fabric may have survived its brush with death last year, but some equally established venues aren’t as lucky. Here is our list of UK nightclubs and music venues that have closed their doors for the last time.

1. Turnmills, London


Officially opened as a nightclub in 1990, Turnmills was the first club to receive a 24-hour license, leading the charge towards all-night partying in the UK. The Islington club was home of Robert Pereno and Laurence Malice’s Xanadu night, and hosted sets by the likes of The Chemical Brothers, Tall Paul, Armin Van Buuren and Paul Van Dyk.

In 2008, Turnmills’ lease expired, and the building was demolished to make way for offices. This became a sadly familiar trend. Just as Turnmills ushered in the era of 24-hour partying, it was also one of the first clubs to close in London’s recent nightlife purge.

2. Matter, London


The circumstances were very different but when owners Cameron Leslie and Keith Reilly had to close Fabric last year, they may have experienced deja vu. Matter was the second project from the Fabric co-founders. Launched in the O2 in 2008, the 2,600-capacity club was expertly designed with visual installations, 200 speakers and a ‘BodyKinetic’ dance floor. Matter had three major residencies throughout each month, hosted by Rinse FM, RAM Records and Hospitality Records.

Due to problems upgrading the Jubilee line, visitor numbers were far lower than expected. The venue was hemorrhaging money, and Leslie and Reilly had to close it in 2010 due to financial difficulties. It was replaced by Proud2 which, as many will know, wasn’t quite the same.

3. The Wigan Casino, Wigan


Between 1973 and 1981 Wigan Casino was the centre of the Northern Soul scene. The club hosted live performances by Edwin Starr and Junior Walker. In a famous anecdote, James Brown himself once nearly performed at the club, but he refused to go on stage at the last minute. DJs included Russ Winstanley, Dave Evison and Martin Ellis, who turned many obscure Motown tracks into all-time classics – Frank Wilson’s ‘Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)’ among them.

After nearly a decade, the local council, who owned the building, wanted to have it back. The Casino has now been replaced by a shopping centre.

4. The End, London


Opening in 1995, The End was a world-renowned club known for its innovative design which placed the DJ booth in the middle of the dance floor. The club saw sets from Fatboy Slim, Roni Size, Zero 7, and Bushwacka. It was also the home of an MN2S residency for eight years, starting from 2000.

Unlike the sad stories behind other closed clubs on this list, The End closed down simply because its owners wanted to go out on a high note. 2009 was the end of the end. Plans to turn it into offices were abandoned and a new club was opened called The Den. Just as with Matter and Proud2, The Den had nothing on The End. Eventually The Den, too, was closed down by the Camden police for being a “generator” of many crimes, some very serious.

5. The Hacienda, Manchester


The Hacienda is not only a legendary closed-down club or a legendary UK club; it is one of the most legendary clubs of all time. Ran by music legend Tony Wilson, the club was funded by the success of his Factory Records label rather than from its own revenue for much of its existence, but it was eventually hugely successful, reaching capacity every night.

The venue was at the centre of Madchester scene and the Acid House scene, with DJs such as A Guy Called Gerald playing major sets there. At the end of its life, the Hacienda’s financial losses became too much to bear, and it closed down in 1997. It has since been turned into a block of flats.

The club’s spirit lives on, though. It was famously the subject of the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People which starred Steve Coogan as Tony Wilson; and Danny Rampling and A Guy Called Gerald recently teamed up with Boiler Room and WHP to recreate an Acid House pool party in the style of the Hacienda.

Main image: CC BY 2.0, Link

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