Comment: Closing music venues need not be end of Edinburgh scene

Kurt Cobain, lead singer for the Seattle-based band Nirvana, performs Dec.13, 1993 during the taping of MTV's Live and Loud Production in Seattle
Kurt Cobain, lead singer for the Seattle-based band Nirvana, performs Dec.13, 1993 during the taping of MTV's Live and Loud Production in Seattle
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The closure of another cherished music venue will inevitably lead to more angst about Edinburgh’s music scene.

Studio 24 is just the latest one to close around Holyrood as the gentrification of the neighbourhood continues to move on apace. Rising property prices and complaints about noise from the growing number of new residents have put paid to many of them.

It’s a concern when so many places where you can hear touring and local bands are shutting down without as many new ones springing up in their place. One of the new ones, Leith Depot, is facing similar problems itself just 18 months after opening. The city has to consider what it can do to better support these type of venues.

There is perhaps an opportunity for Leith to build on its reputation as home of the city’s alternative arts scene. People often talk affectionately about the ‘dives’ in which they have seen great gigs. There is a reason for that. Music venues have always tended to thrive in neighbourhoods where there is empty property which can be rented relatively cheaply.

Holyrood used to be like that, but no longer. Could the reopened Leith Theatre be the first in a series of new venues around the port?