Gentrification has not been kind on the punk scene these past few years. We have lost many iconic venues through London and beyond. “Nothing to do, nowhere to go…”, we all want to be sedated. We had a little chat with Jay from A Place of Our Own, who told us a little bit about their collective and their projects.

It all started a few years ago. Two friends created a new project to keep the scene alive. Jay and Keith came up with A Place of Our Own in 2015  “Over the past few years there has been a significant decline in the number of venue spaces in London, back in 2015 we played our part in highlighting this by organising a punk gig on the beach of the River Thames.

Tresspass was linked to the comedian Mark Thomas’s show of the same name, 500 punks took to the beach to mosh along to Oi Polloi and Flowers Of Flesh & Blood”… But they did not stop there! “The film we made of the event focused a light on the consistent loss of gig space for bands to turn to. When T-Chances, a solid home of the North London punk scene for a few years, closed down in early 2018, we decided it was time to build a place of our own. A few years later and here we are, kicking off the first in a series of benefit gigs to start making that happen.”

Their first benefit show will happen on the August 31st at Grow in Tottenham. Starting at 3pm, there will be over 15 bands on two different stages, a vegan BBQ and three bars. All of this for only a tenner! Expect to see bands like Kildren, The Migraines, The Dub Righters,… And stalls from Pride Punx, No Sweat (an ethical band merch business), Punk Ethics,… An impressive line-up, but also an amazing list of small and ethical businesses.

Hoping to grow bigger and stronger, the collective wants to give everyone within the punk scene a place to go, but also a space where they can create and keep the scene going. “This is very much the early stages of what we hope to be a new space in North London for the punk scene to grow and develop. We are aiming not just at making a venue space, but also incorporate other projects that make the punk scene what it is, and hopefully give young punks a chance at creating their own business…”

Would you like to be part of this project? “We need people with a multitude of skills to help make this project a success. We are going to be spending a few years fundraising before we can think about the venue itself, so we need people to help organise and play benefit gigs and arrange other types of fundraising… We will be looking for quite a large venue space, possible a warehouse, which can accommodate the various projects we are looking to create under A Place of Our Own banner, while avoiding the pitfalls of venues being forced to close due to noise complaints.”

Their plan is to run the space as a co-operative “…where the members have a say in how things are run and the profits can be put back into help develop the space. We will operate a safe space policy and work with local campaign groups to make sure that such policies are effective and there is no place for bigotry or harassment of any kind.”

We could not have said it better than Jay himself : “the punk scene is a strong community that brings disparate groups of people together through music, art and politics, but as the city becomes ever more expensive we struggle to find places to express ourselves. There are a small number of places left we can organize in, with this project we want to make a new space in north London for the punk scene to grow, we want to make A Place of Our Own…”

So… See you next Friday?  31stAugust at Grow in Tottenham. Starting at 3pm.

For more information about their first benefit show, see flyer below or click here.