Manumission were planning to celebrate the closure of London's famous Astoria venue tonight, but the event has now been cancelled due to organisational issues with Transport For London.
The Astoria was earmarked for demolition to make way for London's new Crossrail system, and Manumission's idea was to get a line-up of rock icons to say farewell to the former pickle factory. Transport For London had served a noticing giving 28 days vacate the property on December 19th, but in the lead up to the night, they re-served the writ that demanded the keys to be handed over by this Friday. This left Manumission in a position where they had to cancel all of their guests, only for Transport For London to extend the notice period for two extra days.
Speaking on their Myspace, Manumission issued a statement saying: "There was a final massive push from Manumission’s management to secure a big name artist who could make the night and would have kept the event in line with original plans to make it a star studded charity celebration. With the whole enterprise already struggling against the clock and the authorities, the dream, so nearly a reality, began to slip away. Despite round the clock efforts from all parties, it was proving impossible to honour the Astoria with the glittering line up they planned."
Mike and Claire who organise the Manumission parties also made a statement that gave a sneaky peek into the farewell that the Astoria could've had. "To honour the monumental efforts made by all, Manumission would like to thank the following... Kasabian, Foo Fighters, Kaiser Chiefs, Babyshambles, Primal Scream, Status Quo, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, Damon Albarn, Tom Middleton, Eddy Temple-Morris, Rob Da Bank, Matt Bates, all at Primary Talent and the whole host of people who really, really, really wanted to say "goodbye Astoria", we love you!" All ticket holders for the Manumission event should return their tickets to the vendors for a full refund.
The final curtain descended at the Astoria last night, with performances from Frank Turner, The Automatic, Mystery Jets and Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. The Evening Standard's Rick Pearson was there, and commented that the event was "a brave effort, but the Astoria deserved a grander goodbye." The BBC are also hosting an audio slideshow to commemorate the venue's closure.