'Heart wrench' as top jazz venue The Bear Club kisses goodbye to Luton after six years

One of the world's top jazz clubs is bidding goodbye after nearly six years as one of the jewel's in Luton's nightlife.

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 11:38 am
Updated Monday, 3rd February 2020, 11:44 am
Soul Poetry at The Bear Club in 2018

The Bear Club in Mill Yard, Guildford Street, opened to fanfare in spring 2014 where it became a beacon for music lovers across the UK with a constant lineup of critically acclaimed jazz, blues and rock performers.

Sadly, the venue has announced it will close on Sunday, May 24, but it has a full programme of over 60 acts until date.

Owner Justin Doherty stated: "It is not one single reason. Environmental, financial, attendance, practical and personal aspects all play an equal part in this being the way it plays out.

"As heart-wrenching as it is, it feels as right as putting hammer to nail did in 2014.

"I love the way you have made it your home for six years, the way you have filled an empty room and the way you have made the idea of the bear club real, and something unforgettable.

"I've always believed in going out strong, like a TV series that knows when to stop, before the sets look tired and the plot lines go thin. 'Fawlty Towers', not 'Friends'. That's the way to go.

"We have four months and over 60 events between now, and our inevitable kiss goodnight. Let's get lost in it. "

The Bear Club's future was placed in jeopardy in November 2015 when Luton Borough Council placed a noise abatement order on the premises, which triggered a petition of over 4,500 signatures criticising the council's position.

Undeterred, the The Bear Club fundraised £9,400 with the help of patrons and concerned locals for new soundproofing equipment.

To see what's on at The Bear Club until May 24, visit its website.