London Mayor Sadiq Khan is looking for the city's first Night Czar.
Similar to Amsterdam's Night Mayor, this figure will work to ensure that the capital's night-time economy and culture is fairly represented at government level. This is exactly what the city needs and will serve to bolster its club scene, which Sadiq himself has called "iconic".
A lot of London venues have closed recently but its clubbing landscape will remain strong and adapt to whatever adversity is thrown its way. The Night Czar will help it grow and prosper and there's no doubt that the city will keep on dancing well into the future.
Here are 10 things the Night Czar could do to ensure London remains one of the best dance music destinations in the world.
1 Legitimise London's night-time culture and economy
According to a report by the Centre for Economic and Business Research and London First, ‘entertainment and recreation’ contributes £1.3bn to London’s night-time economy. That means all your favourite bars and clubs are generating a big chunk of money and a whole lot of jobs for the city and need to be treated with respect. A Night Czar would help legitimise the importance of the night-time economy and champion it as a positive contribution to London life.
Similarly, the Night Czar would be a bastion for the culture that thrives within that economy and would stand up for the London-based artists whose work is truly priceless. The city has given birth to some of the most famous producers, DJs, record labels, venues and genres in the world and it needs to be able to continue to do so.
2 Mediate between clubs and councils
It’s clear that there’s a disconnect between London clubland and the legislators who oversee it. We get the feeling that local councils don’t really get the importance of the city’s night-time economy and culture, especially when it comes to clubs and dance music. They either don’t understand or choose not to, meaning a Night Czar will be a much needed representative and mediator.
Could the Night Czar have helped avoid the kind of bureaucratic wrangling and “dirty tactics” that reportedly forced Shapes to shut, for example? Talking about the closure to Time Out, owner Seb Glover said: “Essentially the council didn’t want a music venue in Hackney Wick. They’re trying to make it into another Islington. It’s going to be a sterilised area where there’s no raw creative community. The artists are moving – they’re being priced out, buildings are getting knocked down all the time. This makes running a music venue impossible.” A Night Czar could stand up for the venues and artists who make areas like Hackney Wick so desirable to developers, meaning the artistic community isn’t disrupted when the new builds go up.