Time's Up For The Tivoli:...

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Time's Up For The Tivoli: Fears Dublin's Clubscene Is "Bleak"


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Additional reporting by Brendan O'Loughlin

The promoter for the District 8 club night at the Tivoli says the alternative music scene in Dublin is becoming "bleak".

Stephen Manning's comment comes after planning bosses gave permission for the venue in the Liberties to be turned into a 289-bed apartment hotel.

Last year, Dublin City Council refused permission to tear down the Tivoli Theatre, but that has now been overturned by An Bord Pleanála.

When knocked, the 1930s Francis Street building - which has operated as a theatre since 1981 - can only be built to four floors high.

The apart-hotel style accommodation is popular with hen and stag parties that travel to Dublin, but it means the city is about to lose yet another late-night venue.

Stephen Manning is a promoter with District 8, which has been selling out club nights at the Tivoli for years. Following the closure of a number of venues, he fears Dublin's club-scene is becoming "bleak".

"With Hangar closing down in April and with District 8 due to close... you're jumping from venues like the Button Factory which has capacity for 700, to 3Arena."

Following the closure of POD a number of years ago, Stephen points out that there is "nothing in the middle, that caters for a crowd and a size like District 8".

District 8 organsiers say the planning decision won't affect anyone who's bought tickets for events in 2018, and the Tivoli Theatre isn't expected to close until 2019.

Councillor for the Liberties Rebecca Moynihan says she'd rather see the Tivoli, which formerly staged plays and pantos, used for something else.

"It would be a real shame to see Francis Street develop in a way to how Temple Bar developed, and I think granting the permission is a real pity".

The closure comes on top of the end of Hangar at Andrews Lane Theatre, which is also being converted to a low-frills hotel.

Hannah O'Connell, a Journalist with District Magazine, thinks losing these types of venues may push parties underground, and possibly illegal raves.

"When you close down legitimate places, it is something that can naturally happen because people want to go out and listen to the music that they like on big speakers and not just have to listen to it in their bedroom", she said.

In granting permission to replace the Tivoli with an apart-hotel, planners have ordered the developer get a professional photographer to document the street art on the site.

It's to be distributed to public libraries in Dublin because it's considered to be part of the city's cultural heritage.

Rave on?

Promoter Stephen Manning says he is remaining "optimistic", explaining that "when places like the POD closed down, the resurgence of the Tivoli happened".

"Generally spaces tend to come on stream", but he warned that "there is not many other purpose built space at the moment so it is a bit bleak that a multitude of venues are closing down".


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