Southbank Centre Bans Performance

London’s Southbank Centre has prevented the city’s skateboarding subculture from celebrating the preservation of the Southbank undercroft, the city’s most popular venue for urban culture, citing licensing issues, the Guardian reports.

In September of last year, the activist group Long Live Southbank successfully stopped the area from being redeveloped into a shopping center. The 18 month campaign garnered 27,286 formal objections and even won the support of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. (see Southbank Center Skate Park Saved from Demolition)

However, this weekend the Southbank Centre blocked The Cult of Rammellzee, a group of hip-hop inspired performance artists from performing a half-pagan-half-urban “sealing ritual” as part of the Mapping the City street art show commissioned by Somerset House. The group planned to stage a parade across the Waterloo Bridge to the undercroft skate park. But the Southbank Centre insisted that the event required an amplified music permit to go ahead.

One of the performers, Tex Royale told the Guardian, “It’s another underhanded attempt by the Southbank to claim power over the space.” He rejected the amplified music licensing claims: “We offered to do it without music…but they just wouldn’t budge.”

A spokesperson for Long Live Southbank said, “Creative expressions have happened in the undercroft for 40 years, but the Southbank Centre have once again shown they do not understand the creative and cultural asset they have right under their noses.”


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