After London says goodbye to another club with The Cause’s closure, is it sad news for the charities who benefitted – or jumping the plank before being pushed by the licensing authorities?

This blog came in for some stick when I reported on the troubles that London club The Cause were having last year. I initially ran an article on August 2nd last year about the death of a 21-year old clubber who fell ill on the premises, later named as Bill Hodgson. I also posted about issues surrounding the unopened Ernie’s Yard development and the charity event for The Loop which never was.

Some of you criticised Amateur’s House for being very hard on the club at a time when venues across England had just been given the green light to reopen after lengthy, government enforced closure. Incidentally, this is something I acknowledged at the time – whilst I make every attempt to get things right on this blog, I also believe in holding my hands up when I get something wrong.

Well, the club is now officially no more. Their final swansong took place yesterday – and the only question which remains unanswered is whether this is temporary or a permanent thing. But not to ask any questions at this point would just be daft.

First thing’s first. The Cause should be thoroughly proud of the fact that during their four years in existence, they raised over £150,000 for all kinds of charities. This is an incredible achievement, and nothing can ever take away from that.

And in view of the New Year’s honours list at the weekend, I suggest someone out there nominates co-founders Stuart Glen, Eugene Wild and Rhys Rose for gongs recognising this work.

But there’s still a question here. Was this closure effectively meaning they could jump ship rather than have to walk the plank later? Licensing authorities view deaths from drugs on the premises – and even ones that don’t happen directly on them – in a very dim light. Add to the fact London is, quite frankly, not a city blessed with friendly licensing authorities and you’ve got a potential problem. Memories in the city of what happened to Fabric are still fresh in many memories.

Whilst the same may not have happened to The Cause, this was always a risk. Policing would also no doubt be a factor. Whilst the likes of Sacha Lord’s Warehouse Project in England’s north west benefits from quite a friendly arrangement with Greater Manchester Police, most would struggle to describe London’s Metropolitan Police as being easy for nightclubs to work with – despite them both enforcing the same sets of laws.

So whilst no one is taking away from the achievements of The Cause – and the loss of another club in London will no doubt be noticed – let’s not pretend for a minute this wasn’t potentially on the cards anyway…

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