Theatre News

Camden Council closes down series of outdoor West End concerts over licensing issues

The events were taking place near Centrepoint in central London

The intersection between Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street, near the concert series' location
The intersection between Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street, near the concert series' location
© Tiia Monto / CC BY-SA (

Camden Council has closed down a series of outdoor West End concerts taking place near Centrepoint in London over licensing issues.

The events, which began on 27 August, were free for punters but saw performers and musicians paid for their time – the first paid gigs for many in months.

The series, titled "The Garden at Centre Point", was produced by Duality Music and backed by Almacantar. The two organisations hoped to boost footfall in the area and "give a platform to the talent which underpins London's culture."

Last week, police officers came and told the concerts to cease immediately. When contacted the Council said: "Camden is right behind its arts and creative industries at this difficult time, which are such an important part of Camden's identity. We are here to work with event organisers to help them put on safe, licensed events.

"This particular event went ahead without a licence and involved very loud music that generated a number of noise complaints. We made repeated attempts to engage with the event organiser to try and agree a way forward but as this was not accepted we were left with no option but to stop the event."

Duality Music responded in a statement: "Following a successful first two weeks, which saw the likes of Emma Hatton, Laura Pick and Jordan Lee Davies safely perform to hundreds of Londoners returning to the city centre to shop, eat and work, Camden Council requested the performances were stopped over concerns on noise.

"Licensing around outdoor theatrical performances is ambiguous and unfortunately in this instance requirements were unclear, however Almacantar is working closely with Camden Council to find a solution so performances can resume as soon as possible."

One performer involved in the project told WhatsOnStage: "Almacantar (who have sponsored the project) and Duality Music have created a lifeline for us and followed all guidelines for us as well the public, and provided paid work for us during a time when the theatre industry and live entertainment is on its knees. I really hope that Camden Council can work with them to find a positive solution."

All hope is not lost, with the Council addng: "We will continue to offer advice and assistance and hope that performances can return to the space in the near future."