LGBTQ+ club G-A-Y Late in London’s Soho is to close on 10 December over concerns around street safety.
Jeremy Joseph, owner of G-A-Y Bar, G-A-Y Late and gay nightclub Heaven, tweeted on X: “It is with great sadness that I’ve made the decision to close G-A-Y Late. I know this will come as a shock to a lot of people and many loyal customers will feel saddened by this news.”
Despite G-A-Y being a profit-making venue, Joseph said it has become increasingly difficult to guarantee customer and staff safety once they leave the premises due to police in the area being seriously understaffed.
“As a result of sometimes being the only venue open late at night in the surrounding area, it has led to customers and staff being attacked on their way to and from the venue,” he added.
Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association said: “This marks a profound loss for the LGBTQ community in the capital, as the venue has been a vital and cherished space for years.”
The closure of G-A-Y Late underscores the fragility of businesses within the nightlife sector across the UK. This industry, which plays a crucial role in fostering diversity, inclusivity, and cultural expression, faces unprecedented challenges. The closure of such a significant venue is a stark reminder of the immense pressures businesses are grappling with, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Michael Kill CEO NTIA also expressed deep sadness over the impact this closure will have on the LGBTQ community, emphasizing the importance of safe spaces like G-A-Y Late as not just entertainment venues but as pillars of community, acceptance, and celebration of diversity. He highlights the need for concerted efforts to support and safeguard such spaces to ensure the continued vibrancy of the LGBTQ culture within the capital.
“As we mourn the loss of G-A-Y Late, it is a call to action for policymakers, communities, and industry stakeholders to collaborate on initiatives that safeguard the future of nightlife establishments. Michael Kill urges a united front to address the challenges faced by businesses in the sector, emphasizing the integral role they play in the cultural fabric of the UK.”
“In this challenging time, the Night Time Industries Association remains committed to advocating for the resilience and sustainability of the nightlife sector, acknowledging the importance of preserving safe spaces that contribute to the rich tapestry of the LGBTQ community in London and beyond.”