Iconic music venue The Garage could be bulldozed in Highbury station redevelopment

The Garage. Picture: DHP

The Garage. Picture: DHP - Credit: Archant

An iconic music venue has been ear-marked for demolition if plans to build a new ticket hall for Highbury and Islington station go ahead.

The Garage. Picture: DHP

The Garage. Picture: DHP - Credit: Archant

Grassroots spot The Garage on Highbury Corner has played host to the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Blur and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. But council planning documents, seen by the Gazette, reveal it could make way for a reboot of the old Highbury station.

The clubs management are now calling on the community to protect it from developers by lobbying for it to become an asset of community value.

Programmer Matthew Cook, said: “We believe we’re a site of local importance bringing a vibrant musical culture to Islington. With so many of London’s beloved music venues under threat from developers, we want to ensure the future of the Garage by strengthening ties with our local community.”

The possibility of the old station being redeveloped was first revealed by the Gazette last year. At the time TFL and its chosen developer, Murphy Group, published plans for the old entrance, which suggested The Garage would be demolished.

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A TfL spokesperson said this week: “We are in early discussions about the possibility of upgrading Highbury and Islington Tube station and will engage with businesses and stakeholders as any plans are developed.”

The venue, which has a 600 person capacity, will host a series of “special shows” this November to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

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Blaine Harrison, vocalist with The Mystery Jets, who performed at The Garage last September, said: “We played some of our most memorable early gigs there, attended by some of the people that gave us our first breaks in the industry. And yet in less than a year [since it was refurbished] it is already under threat from developers.”

An estimated 40 per cent of London’s grassroots music venues have shut down over the past decade, including Islington’s Silver Bullet and The Buffalo Bar, which have since reopened as Zelman Drinks and Jam & Rye.

The club was revamped with a new soundsystem and bar by DHP, who bought it in 2016.

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