Bongo gets stay of execution

Jun 22 2012 | By More

Iconic club venue to stay at Moray House until January 2013

By Thom Dibdin

The crowd at the Bongo Club, which has been reprieved until January 2013

And the crowd down the Bongo couldn’t be happier at the news….

The Bongo Club and The University of Edinburgh have agreed to extend the Club’s tenancy at its current home at Moray House in Holyrood Road. The Club will stay until 15 January 2013. The arrangement – offered by the University – has been welcomed by the Bongo Club’s Board of Directors.

Ally Hill, Bongo Club manager, says: “The extended time at Moray House is great news for the thousands of people who visit the Bongo Club and those who appreciate its value to the city.  The extension to our lease gives us vital additional time to take forward promising partnerships to enable the Bongo Club to flourish in new premises.”

The Bongo Club has been the heart of Edinburgh’s cultural scene since 1996 when it was founded at the old bus depot on New Street as part of the Out of the Blue arts collective. The club moved to its current home in 2003 and is a social enterprise, nightclub, gig venue, learning centre and all-round artistic hub with a street-level-headed attitude and international acclaim.

Hill added: “The Bongo is the performance venue of local arts charity Out of the Blue which has an established track record as a catalyst for creativity in Edinburgh. This has allowed the Bongo Club to support and encourage those learning their craft. A longstanding stalwart of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with a list of guests that reads like a ‘who’s who’ of cultural alternatives, the Bongo Club’s activities are a valuable asset to the artistic life of the city.”

The Bongo was first told in February this year that it would have to leave Moray House. Landlords, Edinburgh University, said that they were going to bring forward the end of its lease to September 2012.


Professor Nigel Brown, University Senior Vice-Principal, says: “We have come to an agreement which accommodates the Bongo Club for these extra months and will also allow the University to provide improved and much-needed teaching facilities for thousands of community students who benefit from our Lifelong Learning programmes.

“We recognise the importance to the city and to our students of a vibrant and diverse creative scene to which the Bongo Club contributes.  It is essential, however, that we complete our planned investment in additional classrooms at Moray House.  These are urgently needed to augment teaching spaces for some 15,000 local and international students who, each year, benefit from the high quality evening and weekend classes, summer schools, professional courses and preparatory academic English courses which we provide across a wide range of subjects.  Our Lifelong Learning programmes are also vitally important in enabling returners to learning to enrol on access courses which prepare them to apply to university.”


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