End of an Era – Ocean Venue Hackney 1999-2004
Another London arts and music venue closes it doors. Ocean, Hackney’s flagship community arts centre, one of London’s few independent music venues, has gone into administration
It was London’s first purpose built contemporary music venue, with three different venue spaces of various sizes with six bars. The events covered all musical genres including Reggae, Dancehall, RnB and Hip Hop, with a high number of artists from the Caribbean performing.
Ocean first opened in 1999 with the financial aid to the tune of just 20 million in public funds from a number of government agencies, and the Arts Council. since then, additional grants and funds were provided by the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund amongst others.
Ocean charity was originally set up to encourage and provide music training and education within all areas of the community, particularly the youths. It started out as a fund for community arts and music projects from the profits accumulated running as a successful music venue. However, the scheme fell flat when the venue failed to sell enough tickets to cover its overheads and took on large amounts of financial risk.
With no profits on the horizon, and failing to break even the Ocean Music Trust and Ocean Music Enterprises went into administration on October 13 2004, and has ceased trading. Price-Waterhouse Cooper has now appointed Ian Oakley Smith and Adrian Stanway as joint administrators who are licensed to act as insolvency practitioners.
Ocean should have been self-sufficient as a private trading organisation, and perhaps it was mismanagement. Whatever the reasons, it’s another venue gone! Who will be running it next!?