The Save London Music campaign today welcomed the news that the mayor of London has appointed Amy Lamé as the Night Czar with a specific brief to ensure that Londons night time industries, including live music venues, are represented at the highest levels and have a proper advocate in local government.
London is the biggest city in the world to appoint a Night Czar, and Amy’s hiring comes after the hugely successful creation of night mayors in other cities across the globe from Amsterdam and Berlin, to San Francisco. Amy will give a boost to London’s flourishing cultural scene, which attracts millions of international visitors each year.
Following the closure of the world-famous nightclub Fabric and at a time when other venues across the capital are under threat, Amy will be a much-needed ambassador for the city after dark. She will champion London’s nightlife both in the UK and internationally and will do vital work with the night time industries, local authorities, the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London and the public to ensure London thrives as a 24-hour city. Sadiq Khan has tasked her with setting out a roadmap of how this vision will be delivered and she will build on opportunities such as the Night Tube to diversify and grow London’s night time economy.
Following phenomenal interest in the role with hundreds of applicants, Amy was appointed based on her extensive knowledge and experience of the night time economy, having built her career in the industry over the last two decades. She has a proven track-record in the area, fighting for the future of one of the capital’s legendary LGBT+ venues, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern (RVT). Amy is an accomplished writer, television and radio presenter and performer and a leading figure in the capital’s night time industry. Amy is the co-founder and host of the Olivier award-winning Duckie at the RVT, which celebrates its 21st anniversary next month.
Recent research shows that the night time economy contributes £26.3bn to London’s annual GDP, equivalent to 40 per cent of the UK’s night time economy. This figure is expected to rise to £28.3bnby 2029*, demonstrating the potential for London
In her first initiative as Night Czar, Amy is planning a series of monthly ‘Night Surgeries’, where she will be out and about across the capital in the evening, speaking directly to businesses, night-time workers, members of the public and residents to get an understanding of Londoners’ views of the night-time economy
The new Night Czar will also work very closely with the Chair of the Night Time Commission, to capitalise on the growth of London’s night time economy as well as looking at ways to create a safer, more responsible nightlife for the city’s residents. Demonstrating his commitment to the night time economy, the Mayor has decided to continue the work of the Night Time Commission beyond Autumn 2016 and will appoint a new Chair of the Commission in the coming weeks**
The Night Time Commission brings together an array of stakeholders from across the night time industry including the Metropolitan Police, local planning and licensing authorities and club and venue owners.
Night Czar, Amy Lamé, said: “It’s a privilege to be London’s very first Night Czar. I can’t wait to hit the streets and have loads of ideas of what I can do for revellers, night-time workers, businesses and stakeholders. For too long, the capital’s night-time industry has been under pressure – music venues and nightclubs in particular are closing at an alarming rate
“With the advent of the Night Tube, and the Mayor’s commitment to protect iconic venues across the city, I’m confident that I can inspire a positive change in the way people think about the night time economy. I look forward to bringing together local authorities, the police, Transport for London and many other people from across the night time industries to transform London into a truly 24-hour city.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to announce the appointment of London’s first-ever Night Czar. The recent closure of the world-famous nightclub Fabric and the threats facing other venues across the capital show why Amy will be a much-needed ambassador for the city after dark.
“Amy is a fantastic hire who will give a big boost to our city’s flourishing nightlife which already attracts millions of visitors each year. Her proven track-record of helping save venues, her first-hand experience of the industry over the last two decades as well as her love for London and its nightlife are what make her such a great candidate for the role. She is in an ideal position to work together with venues, authorities, developers and revellers enjoying a night out to solve difficult issues and get new and creative projects going.
“London is now the biggest city in the world to appoint a Night Czar, and over the coming weeks I’ll be going even further and extending the work of the Night Time Commission. I look forward to appointing a new Chair of the Commission to work with Amy to ensure London thrives as a 24-hour-city.”
Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, Justine Simons said: “Amy is passionate about London and brings first-hand experience to the job – she has campaigned for venues, performed in them and written about them. I know she will unite venue owners, members of the public and all of those who have a stake in our city’s nightlife around a positive vision for London after dark. I’m thrilled that Amy will spearhead the transformation of the capital into a genuine 24-hour-city”
To find out more and to watch Amy talk about the role of Night Czar, visit:www.london.gov.uk/24hourlondon
Quotes from spokespeople across the Night Time Industries:
Roger Tichborne, Founder of the Save London Music Campaign & CEO OF Mill Hill Music Complex: “After years of neglect, it is great that finally the importance of the night time economy in London is being recognised. We beleive that the appointment of Amy is a huge step towards ensuring that music and other live venues are protected and preseved”
Mirik Milan, Night Mayor of Amsterdam: “It’s great news to hear that the Mayor has appointed Amy as Night Czar. Speaking from experience, I can tell you it’s not an easy job! I know London will benefit socially, culturally and economically from the appointment. It’s a big step forward for all who work so hard in creating a safe and vibrant nightlife scene.”
Jo Dipple, CEO of UK Music: “The appointment of Amy Lamé as Night Czar is brilliant news for London’s music scene, much of which operates outside 9-5 office hours. In 2015 concerts and festivals attracted 3.2m tourists to London who spent £1bn in the process. Sadiq Khan knows the night-time economy must be sustainable for Londoners, for businesses and for fans. Making Amy Night Czar is the right kind of investment in all our futures. I would like other cities to follow Sadiq’s lead and put a woman in charge of the night.”
Mark Davyd, Music Venues Trust: “Music Venue Trust warmly welcomes the announcement of the first ever Night Czar for London. London’s night time economy plays a crucial role in the success of the capital. It is great to see the Mayor of London responding to the recommendations in the Music Venues Rescue Plan of 2015, and we look forward to working with the new Night Czar to ensure that London’s grassroots music venues are secured, protected and improved.”
Julian Bird, Chief Executive, Society of London Theatre: “The appointment of the Night Czar demonstrates the huge importance of London’s night-time economy, of which theatre is a crucial part. Night after night, incredible work is performed on our stages and we look forward to working together to celebrate and champion this.”