TF Archives

Drug Closure Forces Home into Receivership

Author: Skruff
Monday, April 16, 2001
Home's parent company Big Beat has been forced into receivership following the recent revocation of the licence for the group's flagship operation in Leicester Square. The closure "severely curtailed the trading position of the venue which, given the investment at this location, resulted in cashflow difficulties across the group," a press statement read. "Big Beat's other interests include Home in Sydney, Australia, Media in Nottingham and the Tunnel Club in Scotland, all of which will continue to trade until a buyer is found. However, it is currently unclear whether Home will be able to appeal for their license to be returned while in the hands of the receivers."

The future of the organisation's UK festival Homelands appears secure, however, according to another press release issued this week by Mean Fiddler boss Melvin Benn. "It's business as usual, Homelands is not in doubt," he said. "It is a Mean Fiddler administered and operated event. Darren Hughes and Home have always programmed the musical style and DJs for the event and will continue to do so. We at the Mean Fiddler will continue to plan the festival and operate the business side in the way that we always have and Homelands has no vulnerability as a result of the difficulties that the Big Beat Group have found themselves in."

Home's closure for alleged drug offences drew increasing criticism this week particularly since many dance industry people considered the club to be remarkably drug free. "There's lots of other clubs you'd consider being in more trouble for that sort of thing than Home," Fabric boss Keith Reilly told 7 magazine. "We feel sorry for them -genuinely." Home owner Ron McCullough also defended his club telling the Guardian, "the decision (to revoke the licence) is incredible, the police are making an example of us. We have one of the best records of any club in the country for helping the police do their job and have a hard anti-drugs policy. The action is unwarranted in my view."

The club was shut down under legislation passed in 1997, under the Barry Legg bill which if applied to the letter of the law elsewhere could shut down huge swathes of Britain's clubs.