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Pop-up pop protest to protect pub

A pop-up musical protest will take place in Herne Hill this weekend as a campaign against the decision to remove live music from the Half Moon Pub gains momentum.

The mini festival has been organised by campaigners who are desperate to keep the beloved venue’s music heritage, which includes live performances by bands including U2 and The Police, alive when it finally re-opens this summer.

The pub has been closed since a  waist-high wave of water flooded the area in August 2014, when a faulty Thames Water pipe burst.

Campaigners to re-open the pub were initially pleased when brewers Fullers stepped in to renovate the damaged building, but their decision to convert the stage area into a kitchen and restaurant has been met with disgust by its long-term punters and live music fans.

Freeholders Dulwich Estates have also incurred the wrath of campaigners by pushing to remove the venue’s Asset of Community Status, which would make it easier to carry out the conversion.

Giles Gibson, chair of the Herne Hill Forum, said: “The Half Moon Pub was a long-standing and much-loved music venue which attracted people from across London. This decision is appalling and a major blow to the local area. Dulwich Estate need to re-think what they are doing to our traders and local businesses.”

Alabama 3, the British band behind the iconic theme tune for smash TV show The Sopranos, will perform at the protest gig, which will also be attended by mayoral candidates Sian Berry and Caroline Pidgeon.

A spokesperson from Fullers said that the pub would feature “occasional music” but that a heavy focus was not “economically viable.”

They added: “We are not experts in late night entertainment. We are, however, experts in running fantastic, well-run pubs that cater for a broad section of the community with an excellent drinks range, delicious, fresh food and outstanding service.”

The fun will take place from 2pm to 6pm in Station Square on March 5.

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