Is the party over? An­other city club to shut its doors

Bristol Post - - NEWS - Robin MUR­RAY robin.mur­[email protected]­plc.com

IT might sound a lit­tle dra­matic but it’s the truth: vir­tu­ally every late-night venue in Bris­tol is un­der threat in some ca­pac­ity.

As gen­tri­fi­ca­tion takes hold across the city, an in­creas­ing num­ber of night­clubs and live mu­sic venues are at risk of be­ing turned into ac­com­mo­da­tion, rip­ping out the cul­tural heart of Bris­tol and de­stroy­ing one of the things it is most as­so­ci­ated with in the process.

While more hous­ing is cer­tainly needed in the UK, the thought of a Bris­tol without its leg­endary clubs is a deeply de­press­ing one, es­pe­cially as the flats re­plac­ing them are mostly out of reach for or­di­nary folk.

And the lat­est club to an­nounce its im­mi­nent de­par­ture will come as a huge blow for the city’s ravers, as it’s one of the most es­tab­lished.

Spread over two floors and boast­ing a large out­door ter­race, Blue Moun­tain has been a pil­lar of Bris­tol’s rave scene for decades, wel­com­ing count­less DJs and hun­dreds of thou­sands of ravers since open­ing.

It is loved for its dark and grimy na­ture and is seen as a clas­sic Bris­tol in­sti­tu­tion, with its roots firmly planted in the sounds of drum and bass, break­beat and hip hop.

Ru­mours re­gard­ing the club’s fu­ture have cir­cu­lated on and off this year but its fate was con­firmed once and for all this week when the own­ers made an an­nounce­ment on the club’s Facebook page.

In Fe­bru­ary, Blue Moun­tain was sold on Zoopla for £950,000, although it is not yet known who the buy­ers are.

The news comes just months af­ter it was an­nounced Lakota, an­other of Bris­tol’s most fa­mous clubs, will also close in the not-tood­is­tant fu­ture.

A nightlife cam­paigner who wanted to re­main anony­mous told the Bris­tol Post they are wor­ried about what the clo­sure will mean

lfor the fu­ture of Stokes Croft, and Bris­tol as a whole.

They said: “Bris­tol is fa­mous for its mu­sic. If you go to Amer­ica it’s what peo­ple over there know us for.

“There are so many empty build­ings in Broad­mead, so why do these de­vel­op­ers have to de­stroy Stokes Croft?

“The irony is they all sell Stokes Croft to stu­dents as a vi­brant area with loads of nightlife on peo­ple’s doorstep, but they are wip­ing it out by turn­ing clubs into flats.

“The area is in dan­ger of be­com­ing over­run with stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion but it is sim­ply not what peo­ple want.

“It’s of­ten quite hard to fight for Stokes Croft be­cause there’s a com­mon mis­con­cep­tion in the city that it’s a dodgy area, when re­ally it’s far from that – it’s friendly and happy.

“I know that I speak for a lot of peo­ple when I say I feel safer walk­ing through Stokes Croft at night­time than the city cen­tre.”

Blue Moun­tain has a busy sched­ule for De­cem­ber with a num­ber of events, in­clud­ing Bris­tol-based dub­step and grime duo Kahn & Neek on De­cem­ber 11 and a Garage Girls night on De­cem­ber 22 with the likes of So Solid Crew and Mike Delin­quent on the bill.

Af­ter the BlowPop clos­ing party on Fe­bru­ary 1 there is a Con­tra­band Cir­cus night on Fe­bru­ary 8, but no events lined up af­ter that.

The or­gan­is­ers for that event also re­fer to the clo­sure of Blue Moun­tain in the de­scrip­tion, writ­ing: “Now for some sad news... as some of you may of heard, Blue Moun­tain will be clos­ing its doors in Fe­bru­ary... but, on the bright side, we are glad that we have the chance to hold one more Con­tra­band Cir­cus here.”

JAMES BECK

The Blue Moun­tain night­club in Stokes Croft in Bris­tol is to close in Fe­bru­ary

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