Save The Bongo Club

29th March 2012

PRESS RELEASE: Thursday 29th

March 2012

Following Edinburgh University’s decision to prematurely end the Bongo Club’s lease, thousands
of Bongo Club supporters have signed petitions, joined the F’book campaign and the appended
quotes have poured in from MP’s, MSP’s, Councillors, University staff and students, artists,
performers, musicians, and of course from many of the thousands of people who attend the
Bongo Club each year. Many press articles have explored the decimation of Edinburgh’s music
scene. The message is clear -Save The The Bongo Club as a vital part of Edinburgh’s cultural

Out of the Blue* are now calling on the University for the Bongo Club to remain at Moray
House until September 2013 and for a long lease on the Old Kirk on the corner of St John
Street and Holyrood Road. The kirk has been unused and boarded up by the University for
over 5 years.

Through our ownership of the listed drill hall, Out of the Blue are experienced at working with
funders such as Historic Scotland, Creative Scotland, and The Big Lottery who have funded
renovation and repair projects. Given ownership or a long lease of a building for The Bongo Club
we could do likewise.

Kim Waldon, Edinburgh University Secretary has stated:
‘The University has had a long and positive association with the Bongo Club….We do of course
appreciate the importance to Edinburgh, and not least to our own students, of a vibrant and
diverse cultural scene to which the Bongo Club contributes. To this end we will provide the Bongo
Club with all the appropriate help we can with its location’

Enabling us to develop the Old Kirk would certainly demonstrate an appropriate level of belief in
the value of OOTB and The Bongo Club to the City.

We have the full support of Creative Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council, our local MP, MSP,
Triodos Bank, Social Investment Scotland, EUSA and of course our thousands of supporters
EUSA President Matt McPherson, said,

Students have made it clear to me through thousands of signatures on a petition that The Bongo
Club is far more than just an evening space. It is a venue which plays an important part in the
international, deeply cultural and diverse social fabric of Scotland’s capital city.
I have written to the University on behalf of student council, who recently passed a motion in
support of the Bongo Club, expressing my concern at the decline of Edinburgh’s meaningful and
local spaces, and asking the University to support the current organisers of the Bongo Club
through means of finding an appropriate other venue. EUSA has enjoyed a close partnership with the Bongo Club in recent months, and I have asked the University Rector if the issue can be discussed at a University Court meeting in the near future.

*Out of the Blue are a well respected Edinburgh charity and owners of the Bongo Club.

Ally Hill-Venue Manager, 37 Holyrood Road Edinburgh, EH8 8BA +44(0) 131 558 8844

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