Manumission’s night at the closing party at London’s Astoria has been cancelled.
It was to have been the party to kick off the year… Mike and Claire, legendary hosts of Manumission, had called to arms some of Rocks most iconic bands to bid farewell to the much loved Astoria, on finding out that the venue’s management had no plans to mark the occasion.
But sadly it was not to be… it was a race against time from the start. Transport for London, who are demolishing the venue to make way for the Crossrail, served 28 days notice to vacate on 19th December 2008 which was the day the world’s entertainment industry took two full weeks out effectively for Christmas and New Year.
Undeterred, Manumission and their management team gave it their all to put together a fitting farewell night for 15th January. The ‘wish list’’line up was a who’s who of Rock but although many were keen to pay tribute to the Astoria, few were able to make the date due to the short notice. During this key promotional period TFL re-served the writ demanding keys to the venue be returned on 16th January, and then two days later extended it again by which time the organizers had lost almost all of the major names they had invited to perform. 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.
This was always to have been an ‘all or nothing’ event, the Wildest Party Ever, with a Roll Call of the most exciting names in Rock mingling with Manumission’s finest and the ringmasters, Mike and Claire refused to lower their standards. Faced with being unable to put this night on as promised because of constraints put upon them by spiralling events the decision was reluctantly taken by Manumission management and team to pull out.
QUOTE FROM MIKE AND CLAIRE
“It is ridiculous that such an important venue is being demolished for ‘economic progress’. It can never be replaced. We wanted to give The Astoria the send off it deserves, we feel saddened and disappointed by the decision made to pull what could have been an amazing event, especially in these troubled times.”
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 the Bank, Matt Bates and all at Primary Talent and the whole host of people who really, really, really wanted to Say Good Bye Astoria, We Love You!!!
We would also like to say ‘Brilliant, Cheers and Good One’, to Get Cape Wear Cape Fly and the organizers of the event announced today for the 14th January. We are glad that the press interest their efforts generated has brought massive attention to the fact that this beloved venue was to be laid to rest without a party, and wish them every success with their event. The Astoria will have a send off after all…
Manumission were to have kicked off their World Tour with this date leaving Ibiza for their 15th birthday and their first visit to London. They are expected to announce more dates on this over the next few weeks and intend to visit London for a very, very special appearance later this year so as not to disappoint their fans.