News today that concert venue St John’s Smith Square is looking at empty reserves isn’t surprising – what with the Queen Elizabeth Hall re-opening this week and the partnership with SJSS that carried Southbank Centre through its 3 year refurbishment now being at an end. But, it is a sad thing to hear, nonetheless.
SJSS has a highly sought-after acoustic, and an effortless charm to its front of house experience that makes it a go-to destination. Also, Benjamin Britten’s mother got married there.
We think of venues as being in competition with one another. That’s usually where the argument about whether we need to save one begins and ends.
Yep, in some respects venues are in competition with one another. In other ways the range of buildings we have available to us, the people that staff them, and the atmosphere they create, affords us complimentary destinations. That’s important for audiences in search of differing experiences.
I adore SJSS’s simplicity. It is a meeting point too. Magical things happen there. It’s in need £200K. Let’s not let go of it. That would be too easy.