London is roaring back – and our unparalleled variety of culture, nightlife and live music is leading the way. Our fantastic nightclubs, arenas, and stadiums attract the globe’s biggest names, and our cherished grassroots venues are the platform for the next generation of talent.
But even by London’s high standards, last week was extraordinary with more than one million people attending live shows across the capital. More than 80,000 people a night packed out Wembley Stadium to see Blur. The Weeknd sold out London Stadium with 80,000 people a night, and Ice Spice rocked the crowd at Wireless. BST Hyde Park saw 60,000 people a day to hear Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and Lana Del Rey.
And while the arenas were full, tens of thousands of people wanting to hear the next big thing attended gigs at grassroots music venues across the capital. We estimate that more than a million people experienced live music in London last week, which according to Music Venue Trust, brought in an estimated boost of more than £320m to the capital’s businesses.
And, with Taylor Swift tickets going on sale next week for six dates at Wembley Stadium in summer 2024, London’s economy is set to prosper even more – and when London prospers, the rest of the country benefits too.
There was also more good news this week when Soho institution Kettner’s Townhouse opened to the public for the first time in four years, and that the disused Tottenham Ikea store is to become a 15,000-capacity cultural venue.
I take huge encouragement from this, but I know only too well that there are still challenges for businesses and London’s 1.4m night workers.
The pandemic had a severe impact on venues, wiping out cash reserves and putting many of them into debt. Despite wanting to trade their way back to financial health, venues are now suffering an even harsher financial landscape, with unsustainable energy bills, high inflation and increased supplier costs.
We don’t want to see noise issues putting our venues or the wellbeing of residents at risk. In the London Plan, the Mayor brought in the “agent of change” principle to soundproof people’s homes – ensuring venues and residents can live harmoniously together.
The programme for culture and community spaces at risk has helped hundreds to survive, and we are mapping every venue to protect them and working with local authorities to safeguard
We’ve helped cut red tape for night time businesses, helping them to trade more easily through our Business Friendly Licensing Fund and we’re directly helping councils, like Wandsworth, to improve their night time offer by putting night time strategies in place.
And yesterday, we launched three brand-new Creative Enterprise Zones, which have been a game changer for culture in London, with our investment helping to protect local artists and enable them to bounce back from the impacts of the pandemic faster and stronger than the wider industry.
There are so many reasons to be proud of London’s world leading nightlife and culture and we will continue to do all we can to help every aspect of our nightlife flourish.