Si B gives us his expert analysis on the crisis facing Cambridge's clubs. They may be saved in the short run, but will they transform?
Big Fish Ents’ Managing Director Simon Burdus gives us his expert opinion on the future of Cindies and Life.
It’s official: Luminar, the company who own the most nightclubs in the UK, have gone into administration. And yes, Luminar does own Cindies and Life.
I’ve been in Cambridge for eight years, and Cindies and Life have provided me with so many great nights. I know they aren’t the best clubs in the world but they have a distinct quality that I simply love. It would be terrible to see the two mainstays of Cambridge nightlife disappear from the map.
Thankfully I don’t think this will happen. There are a number of possible scenarios – which one will play out I simply don’t know. But if Ballare and The Place imminently close I’ll eat my own head.
Luminar is in administration, not liquidation. A company in administration is still run like a normal company. The whole business continues to function, as long as it is making money. Luminar makes money as a business – it is just saddled with debts from a previous owner’s tenure. What’s more, Ballare and The Place make money, so I’d be very surprised if the administrators closed the venues.
At the moment Ernst and Young, the appointed administrators, are looking for companies to buy all of the clubs owned by Luminar. The rumours are that one company will buy all the venues in the portfolio. If this comes to pass, it will be as though nothing happened.
Alternatively, if no single company will buy all venues, the most profitable clubs will be sold off. And there is no doubt in my mind that Ballare and The Place would be sold off, since they are two of the highest ranking clubs in the company.
Either way it’s only a matter of time before both clubs find a new owner, and until a new owner is found the clubs are going to carry on as normal.
But my biggest concern is that the new owners will come in and put their own stamp on these clubs. They’ll find them too cramped and too sweaty, and they’ll undoubtedly find the music too cheesy. If they change the clubs too much, even though Ballare and The Place will still be there, we will have lost Cindies and Life.
Big Fish Ents supports The Tab’s campaign to ‘Save Cambridge’s Clubs’ and to preserve them no matter who ends up owning them.