Pioneering Alternative Nightclub Forced to Postpone
due to imposition of “no ID, no entry” licensing condition
The pioneering conscious-clubbing event Luminopolis has been forced to postpone its forthcoming indoor mini-festival on 24th April 2009. This is due to Southwark Council’s licensing conditions recently imposed on their host venue, seOne London.
Following a murder at the venue last October, the council’s licensing committee introduced additional conditions to seOne’s license. These including a mandatory “no ID, no entry” door policy. This requires that ticket holders present valid photo ID (passport, driving licence, national identity card, or Citizen Card) at the door which gets scanned and permanently stored in a database system called clubscan.
This has presented Luminopolis with a dilemma. On the one hand, audience safety and security has always been a priority – with a very peaceful 2000-3000 strong crowd and a large stewarding team of its own, there has never been a serious incident at the 25 events held over the last 6 years. For the scale and ambition of the events there are few suitable multi-room venues in central London – seOne has proven a very good ancestral home for their various projects since the late 1990’s.
On the other hand, Luminopolis itself has concerns about the creeping loss of privacy that ID cards represent – the campaigning group NO2ID is amongst the NGOs which have attended these events. Further, the core alternative clubbing audience has started to vote with its feet – far from clubscan making them feel safer, they feel more uneasy being watched by an intrusive database state.
Faced with the prospect of an audience boycott of a venue where clubscan is installed and the resultant low ticket sales, unease about ID cards, and the lack of a replacement venue at short notice, the organisers have reluctantly decided to cancel April’s event. Long term survival of the project is more important than a single show or a temporary set-back.
Luminopolis plans are now underway for a return in the Autumn, after the festival season, with something new, very funky and extra special. Meanwhile the hunt is on for a new home. Luminopolis is now exploring some very interesting and unusual venues outside of the bounds of the established clubland, including film studios and historic buildings – if you know of a licensed 4-6 room venue with a capacity of at least 2,500, then please get in touch.
Out of adversity comes creativity, and in keeping with the Luminopolis theme of positive progressive change, a new home will offer great opportunities for creative celebration. Luminopolis would like to thank all its many loyal attendees, performers, and crew for their support and understanding, and also to extend a special thanks to the seOne for their help and service.
Current ticket holders can use their tickets at the next Luminopolis event, or can obtain a full refund by contacting the ticket office (Access All Areas in Camden).
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Notes to Editors
Luminopolis is a magical indoor festival organised by the community for the community, aiming to inspire, uplift & unite. It combines musicians, DJs, VJs, performers, and artists from all corners of creativity. Coming together in celebration to promote and support the work of NGOs and charities, and to inspire people to get involved in the ever-growing movement for social and environmental regeneration. An evolution of The Synergy Project, Luminopolis is the new City of Light.
Luminopolis strives to create an optimistic approach in raising awareness of the many crucial issues affecting our world today. The events gather some of the UK’s leading creative multimedia organisations joined by international NGOs such as Oxfam, Survival, Speak, Ecoshelter, WDM, Down2Earth, Greenpeace, and the Campaign Against Climate Change, to provide just the right mix of open-hearted enjoyment and meaningful reflection for a new direction.
In a society in which generally perceives clubbing as a form of escapism associated with values of transgression, Luminopolis continues to re-invent the clubbing experience by transforming it into an ‘educational’ tool, associating healthy values of sustainability and social justice with strong role models such as respected artists and performers of the entertainment industry. Creating awareness with more efficient means to reach directly a young audience that might otherwise be reluctant to receive, respect, and incorporate such messages when proposed by conventional sources.
Luminopolis functions as an umbrella organisation, bringing together some of the most forward thinking organisations within the alternative and creative scenes. By inviting a diverse spread of musical genres and productions to each event, Luminopolis aims to bridge the gap between musical scenes and their respective followings, while creating an atmosphere of inclusion and tolerance. Each event presents a good balance of core partner and guest organisations.
Luminopolis strives to maintain a dynamic musical orientation. With 5 rooms to play with each event presents an eclectic journey across many genres of sound. From pumping psychedelic trance, to melodic ambient soundscapes, downtempo / dubby grooves, uplifting breakbeats, intricate glitchy electronica, and funky live bands just to name a few.
As part of the open debate policy, Luminopolis aims to feature talks and debates relevant to many of the issues we feel are crucial in our day and age. These debates can also lead to self-critical reflection, considered by Luminopolis a vital element to avoid the ever present thread of stagnation or a veering off the declared ethical course.
We have been running events for 6 years and continue to inspire people from all walks of life to re-evaluate their views on club culture and beyond…
About The New Door Policy at seOne
In October 2008 a murder took place during an event at the seOne London (http://www.seone-london.com/) – one of the Capital’s largest multi-room venues, and long-term home of Luminopolis. Southwark Council’s licensing committee and the Metropolitan Police conducted a thorough security and health & safety review. As a result, seOne had some additional conditions placed on its license. The three most noticeable outcomes are:
- The old ineffective walk-through metal detectors were replaced by an airport style screening system that everyone (including crew and smokers) must pass through every time they enter or re-enter the venue.
- A policy of “no ID, no entry” was introduced (but only recently enforced) using Clubscan technology. This requires that ticket holders present a valid form of photo ID: passport, driving licence, national identity card, SIA card or Citizen Card. Scanned data is held indefinitely in an encrypted format which seOne say can only be accessed by the venue manager or by the police following an incident which they subsequently investigate. It is unclear whether any other central or local government agencies would also be given access, and whether retaining information indefinitely is within Data Protection rules.
- The outside smoking cage was deemed to be dangerous (flimsy, over crowded, and too close to the road). The solution was to allow smokers use of the entire outside tunnel area. In order to prevent non-payers coming into the venue via the smokers door, a thumbprint system was installed – smokers thumb-out and must thumb-in again within 15 minutes. The thumbprints are anonymous – they are not linked to any other personal identification (including the clubscan system), and are automatically deleted from the system 15 minutes after thumbing-out of the venue.