Save Earls Court campaign enters decisive new phase11 July 2012
Currently due for demolition in 2013, Earls Court exhibition centre and concert venue is at the centre of a long-running bid to overturn extensive redevelopment plans for this historic area of Central London.
The recent initiation of High Court proceedings against the planning policy underpinning the intended demolition of Earls Court exhibition centre means that the Save Earls Court preservation campaign is arguably enjoying its greatest media profile to date. With this in mind, action group West Ken & Gibbs Green – The People’s Estates (one of whose supporters, Rita Vlahopoulou, is pictured here) has announced a far-reaching social media strategy urging residents, associates and users of the Earls Court facilities to further raise awareness via Facebook and Twitter. The group has also posted extensive background information about the campaign and, in particular, the threat to West Kensington and Gibbs Green council estates, on its WordPress site. Community organiser Jonathan Rosenberg tells PSNEurope that he’s currently seeking new sources of funding for the financially-draining campaign, and hopes that it will be possible to attract the assistance of musicians and audio professionals who have worked at Earls Court over the years. “We’ve thrashed the financial and property speculators for three years, but we’re only little people – just a couple of council estates standing up to the politicians’ power and the bankers’ money,” he said. “Now, thanks to our latest legal challenge, we find ourselves defending the world’s greatest venue. Pop stars and celebrities have stood inside Earls Court, to the adulation of their fans, the enrichment of our culture, and the benefit of our economy – but will they stand in front? If you love Earls Court, if it’s part of your livelihood and memories, I urge you to act now.”
The annual PLASA Show is a mainstay of Earls Court’s exhibition calendar, and the trade organisation’s CEO, Matthew Griffiths, confirms that he is monitoring current developments with interest. “From PLASA’s perspective, it does not surprise me that there is a continued battle over the plans for Earls Court Exhibition Centre and I am sure they will continue for some years to come,” he says. “PLASA is actively looking at all the options that will develop its events, including venue choice, and as the PLASA Show in London is the only international entertainment technology event to reinvest its revenue back into the industry it serves, we will make a decision purely on what is best for our exhibition and not on the availability or otherwise of Earls Court.” Griffiths adds that, under a rolling agreement with Earls Court, PLASA has the option to stage its exhibition there for 2013. “We will be deciding on that option within the next few weeks,” he notes.
Meanwhile, booking for PLASA 2012 is now underway, with the organisation reporting a 35% increase in visitor registrations as a result of its new Professional Development Programme. Among the audio-orientated sessions now available to book are ‘Sound System Fundamentals’, ‘The Art of Noise’ (sound control regulations), ‘What’s Left in the Black Box’ (the future of loudspeaker design), and ‘Are We Near to Perfect Sound?’. Sessions will involve representatives from d&b audiotechnik, Funktion One, Traction Sound, JBL, Martin Audio and Meyer Sound, among others. For more details, visit