Iconic London music venue closes doors amid omicron surge

A David Bowie tribute concert at the Union Chapel in Islington in 2016

The Union Chapel in Islington, ahead of a David Bowie tribute concert in 2016 - Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA

The Union Chapel has cancelled all its remaining Christmas and January events, as Omicron cases rise across Islington. 

Performances at the Upper Street venue, including one scheduled for January 13 by American indie rock band Manchester Orchestra will no longer take place.  

The news comes as entertainment venues across the country demand more financial support from the government.  

Michael Chandler, CEO of the Union Chapel Project, which also operates as a charity helping people experiencing homelessness, warned that the venue was in for a tough few months.  

“After a brief period of stability, the last few weeks have thrown us and the live music sector back into financial crisis,” he said.  

“This has a major impact on us as a charity and our vital work for the community.” 

Demand for Union Chapel’s homelessness support services, including hot meal and shower drop-ins, has increased by 66 per cent during the pandemic, but the venue is running on a third of its usual income.  

In anticipation of further cancellations, and to help raise funds for the venue and its charity work, Union Chapel has asked for donations through a fundraiser at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/rebuild-union-chapel.  

The Union Chapel

The Union Chapel - Credit: Alex Marsh