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Glasgow’s ABC venue destroyed after art school fire spreads

By | Published on Monday 18 June 2018

Glasgow ABC

Glasgow’s ABC venue – part of the Academy Music Group network of venues – has been severely damaged by fire, which spread from the adjacent Glasgow School Of Art’s Mackintosh Building in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The historic Mackintosh Building had been under renovation following another smaller fire there in 2014, and caught ablaze again late on Friday night. As flames tore though the art school building, they then spread to the ABC, the roof of which eventually collapsed. It may take weeks to fully assess the extent of the damage of the venue.

Promoter Paul Cardow, whose company PCL Presents is a shareholder in the ABC, told the Daily Record that he “sat in the street and cried” when he saw the venue burning.

“I arrived at the venue within the first hour of the fire”, he said. “I sat in the street and cried, but it wasn’t until we got the aerial photograph that we got an idea of just how bad the damage is … Nobody knows what happened, but I don’t know many buildings that can survive having a roof falling in and 24 hours of high pressure water poured into it”.

Although the full extent of the damage is not yet known, Cardow says that he is “assuming it will be horrific”.

“The ABC is a massive part of the community and a venue that is hard to replace”, he added of the 143 year old building. But, he said, “it won’t be the end of the venue. The venue will eventually re-open”.

Attempts are being made to move upcoming shows to other venues, although some have already been cancelled. Updates on all shows will be added to the ABC website in due course.