SAVING THE ARCHES: HERE WE F*&@ING GO!
Hi! I’m Lucy Noble, one time clubber, raver and dedicated Arches follower, and sometime Independence Live broadcaster.
I also have an interest in theatre having spent time in the 90’s working in theatre administration for small touring companies.
So, when Independence Live put a shoutout for someone to cover last Friday’s SAVE THE ARCHES protest I was more than happy to volunteer.
Imagine then how gutted I felt when technical difficulties prevented that broadcast!
Therefor, for the benefit of those who were disappointed I thought I’d give you a short report:
It was quite appropriate that the protest took place between the two arches in John Street where the Licensing Committee were meeting at 9am in the City Chambers.
A good natured crowd of over 300 people comprising former Arches employees, including performance artists, box office and security staff and The Arches Choir, gathered to make their feelings known and to hand in a petition of over 40,000 signatures demanding the reinstatement of The Arches club license.
With The Arches in administration pressure is being brought to bare on the council to find a solution for this incomparable arts institution which not only served Glasgow so well but was an important part of the cultural firmament of Scotland and indeed the UK.
Theatre and Arts reviewer Mark Brown welcomed the crowd, giving an electrifying speech praising The Arches as a business model, pointing to the amount of funding generated by the Club Nights and looking back on 25 years of innovative performance work, some of which has pushed the boundaries of culture and filtered down to the mainstream.
Staff member Jodi Wilkinson spoke of the honour of being connected with such an iconic venue and performer Keiran Hurley claimed that the cultural and artistic soul of Glasgow has been lost, calling for a public consultation to salvage rather than abandon the Arts Centre.
Joshua Brown, activist, addressed the issue of drugs use and urged for a more realistic approach to be taken in Scotland to drugs and drug legislation, recognizing that people will always find ways of getting high and that The Arches Nightclub had set a great example over the years in its approach using a harm reduction model.
Many of the crowd who spoke to me concurred that the security staff were responsible, firm and fair and that the provision of trained and caring medical staff (including a volunteer ambulance) had offered them a sense of protection and a friendly safe environment. It was widely suggested that clubbers will probably not encounter these standards elsewhere in the city.
After repeated chants of SAVE OUR ARCHES the crowd broke into a spontaneous rendition of the world famous and anthemic Glasgow Arches club-chant of
HERE WE! HERE WE! HERE WE FUCKING GO! which Mark Brown joking declared was the worst campaign slogan he had ever heard!
Despite the torrential rain everyone remained in good spirits and vowed to continue in our struggle to reinstate our favorite venue……..after all, if we don’t then yet another piece of the People’s Glasgow may well fall into the hands of some greedy developer!