An open letter to Boris Johnson + Ministry Of Sound

Dear Mr. Mayor.

It has come to my attention that yet again the nightclub known as Ministry Of Sound in Elephant & Castle (London) is under a serious threat of closure, as you are allegedly single-handedly aiming to override and grant planning permission for “luxury flats” opposite the nightclub. It is with great passion that I feel I must write to you in this open letter, asking that you consider the possible consequences of such an action.

Firstly, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Dom Kane, and I am currently a self-employed music producer, DJ, and audio engineer. I have a Bachelor of Science with honours degree in engineering and I am currently looking at furthering my education to the level of Philosophiae Doctorate specialising in the field of technology within modern youth culture. Although I live in Cardiff myself, I am a regular visitor to your city as a performing DJ, having also performed at Ministry Of Sound on many occasions too.

I can appreciate that from the perspective of a government position such as your own, perhaps the information presented to you has suggested that Ministry Of Sound is “just another nightclub”. Just another nightclub, sir? I can assure you that Ministry Of Sound is not “just another nightclub”. A globally recognised cultural icon of our generation that people are willing to travel the breadth of our planet in order to experience, bringing not just greater finance to the area from the club itself, but to a far wider area by tourists who travel the world for the single reason of witnessing and creating some of their greatest musical memories imaginable.

Just another nightclub, sir? From the birth of House Music that formed an artistic and cultural revolution in the late 1980s across Chicago and New York, the Ministry Of Sound nightclub was borne with the intention of providing a venue where the sound-system and technology was of the highest priority, and thus served a major part in delivering new music from across the globe to audiences that wanted something completely different to “just another nightclub”. An engineering marvel of the twentieth century was created, and continues to push both artistic and technological boundaries today. A venue where people from all walks of life can come together and create inspiring moments of cultural solidarity, even still in times of deep economic crisis such as today. Britain was built by engineers, and we have a lot to be proud of in being British when it comes to technology, and no less in the field of audio. We invented the telecommunications system, the radio, the microphone, the portable digital audio player, and more. These are all products that we take for granted today, but the Ministry Of Sound nightclub is a unique combination of all these inventions amongst others, offering a totally unique experience that by no means could “just another nightclub” offer.

I fully understand the goals and ambitions of the Elephant & Castle regeneration project, particularly as I myself live in the Cardiff Bay area, which is widely considered to be the most successful regeneration zone in Europe. But I can also assure you, that from my own experiences, one of the fundamental reasons that Cardiff has been such a success in terms of regeneration, is that consideration was taken into offering the community a place to gather for artistic and cultural experiences that continues to drive a local economy forward. The Ministry Of sound venue is a necessity to Elephant & Castle to provide not only a cultural history, but a cultural future.

I sincerely hope that you can recognise the importance held by the Ministry Of Sound nightclub, and that by destroying this venue, a part of modern music history will be destroyed too.

I genuinely look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter soon.

Yours sincerely,
Dom Kane.

Dom Kane
DJ | Producer | Engineer
Sound designer for Moog (LP + SP), FXpansion (D-CAM + Geist), Steve Duda & Deadmau5 (Xfer/Nerve)



[UPDATE: 08 Feb 2012 at 16:56]

I have now had a response from the Mayors office, explaining that my comments will be reported to the Mayor in time for his decision at the representation hearing on March 12th in City Hall.

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