CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Exclusive: Legendary music promoter Vince Power to take over Dingwalls

New look club may not be able to re-open until New Year

23 June, 2020 — By Dan Carrier

Dingwalls next to Camden Lock

ONE of London’s music scene heavyweights is to take over the running of the legendary Dingwalls venue in Camden Town.

Vince Power, the promoter and venue owner who in the past has run the Jazz Cafe and Forum in Kentish Town, has signed a deal for the famous site next to Camden Lock.

He confirmed to the New Journal today (Tuesday) he had taken the keys from Camden Market owners LabTech– and was looking forward to embarking on a new project at a flagship venue, which over 47 years has played host to some of the biggest names in music.

He said: “It has such a rich history, though in recent years it has been up and down. It needs a lot of attention but I am excited about it.”

Dingwalls was once a warehouse used to store goods unloaded from the Regent’s Canal.

The 500-capacity venue opened in 1973 and over the years has had Ian Dury, The Strokes, Desmond Dekker, Etta James and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers on stage.

The deal comes despite warnings over the bar and live music scene in Camden Town, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus shutdown.

Roundhouse chief executive Marcus Davey has warned of venues being only able to operate at a fraction of their capacity, while the owners of iconic places like the Dublin Castle, Electric Ballroom, Jazz Cafe and Fiddler’s Elbow say they fear the longer they remain silent, the harder it will be to bounce back.

The re-opening of Dingwalls, which has also been used as a comedy club and part of the Lock markets, by one of the industry’s savviest operators, however, suggests live music in Camden can have a solid future.

Mr Power added: “There are still some things we have to work out – how we manage the lock down situation and what it means for live music. We may not be able to open until New Year. We are working through plans of what we can do there. We are very excited.”

Camden’s culture chief Councillor Jonathan Simpson said: “Vince Power has a great history in running successful live venues and festivals in London. Our music venues face massive uncertainties due to the public health pandemic and when they reopen they will need our support more than ever. I hope Vince’s expertise will help Dingwalls thrive.”

A LabTech spokesman said contracts had been finalised and Mr Power was now looking at what work was needed before doors open once more.

The company added: “We can confirm that leading live music operator Vince Power is set to take the reins of Camden Markets legendary Dingwalls all day dining and drinking destination.  Plans for the reopening are yet to be confirmed but we are truly excited to welcome a newly reinvigorated music venue to Camden Market.”

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