The End of Cindies and Life as we know it?

Judith Welikala & Zoah Hedges-Stocks 27 October 2011

Club empire at risk of collapse – Life and Cindies could face closure as owner falls into administration

Student nightspots Cindies (Ballare) and Life (The Place) could be set to close, as their owner, Luminar, has gone into administration. The company has released the following statement:

“The directors of Luminar have no option but to take steps to place the Company and certain of its subsidiaries into administration and to request the UKLA to suspend trading in Luminar’s shares with immediate effect.”

Luminar’s payments to Lloyds, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland are due on 27 October, and their shares have been suspended.

Students have reacted to the news with a mixture of shock and brutal honesty. Ali Moore, a third year Medic at Newnham said “It’s part of our Cambridge experience. It’s rubbish but we love it because it’s part of our week.”

“I don’t know what I’d do, it would be awful. Last night my bank card wasn’t working, and I called my bank from inside Cindies because I didn’t want to leave,” said Harriet Fitch Little, a third year Newnham PPS student.

“Where will I drink VKs and have a night of sweaty cheese?”, lamented Pei-Wen Yen a third year Sociology student at Murray Edwards, “I’m genuinely distressed.”

Luminar is the biggest nightclub owner in the UK and operates 74 venues as well as the two Cambridge clubs. They employ over 3,000 full-time and part-time staff across their clubs.

Luminar’s domination of the England club scene could have serious repercussions for students. With their clubs in every major city in the country, university towns may be left bereft of nightlife should administrators be forced to cut the number of venues to rescue the firm’s parlous financial state.

The news is the latest in a series of blows to Luminar and the Cambridge club scene in general. TCS recently reported on the legal fallout from a drunken Cindies prank in May.

Last week, TCS reported the death of Nabila Nanfuka, a student at the University of Northampton who was crushed to death at a Luminar Lava & Ignite club.

Staff from Life were ejected from the Societies Fair at the start of term after accusations of intimidating behaviour.

Luminar’s policy of having a Fuzzy Logic night at all of their clubs has confused clubbers.

Fez, owned by rival operators Eclectic, is expected to close next year and be redeveloped into flats.

Earlier in term, TCS reported that a crime occurs in the city’s clubs almost once every 24 hours.

Hopefully Luminar’s creditors will be paid off and the company will continue trading with its Cambridge arm intact. However, if the company is forced to sell off its clubs, Luminar may struggle to find a buyer due to the current economic climate – which could mean the end of Life as we know it.

Judith Welikala & Zoah Hedges-Stocks