A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

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Trev
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A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by Trev » Thu May 17, 2012 11:29

to save the DIY music thread going wildly off topic. I reckon we should discuss the idea of a co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere?) in this thread.

Background is in this thread:
http://anorakforum.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 28#p204028

Who'd be interested in getting involved? Anyone have any specific experience or insights?

Let's see what we all know/think and take it from there.
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by a layer of chips » Thu May 17, 2012 11:36

I'd be very interested in getting involved, as I mentioned on yonder thread.

I can always ask my Dad about how we'd go about sorting out the booze license and and dealing with booze suppliers/breweries, etc. I don't have a great deal of actual money to put into anything, but I guess that bridge could be crossed when we came to it.

I might go out this afternoon and buy 50 scratchcards.

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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by Trev » Thu May 17, 2012 11:43

Thanks Sam. That's exactly the sort of thing I am after.

I am looking into co-operative help for beginners and also pub stuff for newbies.

I am not sure how much cash I have to get involved either - but we could, if we get a sound business plan applying for funding/loans etc. All a long way off, but the more people that get on board the more chance we have of making it work.
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu May 17, 2012 11:44

I just posted this in the other thread then deleted it and moved it to here:

I didn't quite make it to the end of this thread before I got a bit too depressed to read on. I'm not much cop as a promoter and I've never been in a band, so I'm not gonna wade in on that front.

What I will say is that I think the only way to possibly make money as a venue on drinks would be to do bottles/cans only. That way returns can be taken back to the wholesaler when things are tight and you don't have a brewery ripping you off to shit all the time. We all love good beer, but I think we would all happily drink a decent 500ml bottle (I'm thinking ales here) at less than the cost of a pint where the venue can still probably make more profit.

I don't see why a small room with a bottle/can bar and a PA isn't achievable, especially in London.

Also, I will pledge a minimum of £2,000 right now. I'm not fucking joking. I know that's pennies when it comes to it, but there we have it.

[I wrote more stuff here but I think the less I say, the better.]

I will add that it may be much more affordable in a town with lower rents but a decent pop crowd...
Last edited by roundbitsofplastic on Thu May 17, 2012 14:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu May 17, 2012 11:46

Trev wrote: I am looking into co-operative help for beginners and also pub stuff for newbies.

I am not sure how much cash I have to get involved either - but we could, if we get a sound business plan applying for funding/loans etc.
As a co-op you can issue non-profit loan stock. Or something. More info should be available here.
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by Trev » Thu May 17, 2012 11:47

I think the venue would have to be a broad church when it came to music styles put on. The world, sadly, can not run on indiepop alone.

Thanks for the support as well.

I am currently exchanging emails with Char and she is a fundraiser by day and has ideas on getting funding for this kind of thing, too.
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by Trev » Thu May 17, 2012 11:49

roundbitsofplastic wrote:
Trev wrote: I am looking into co-operative help for beginners and also pub stuff for newbies.

I am not sure how much cash I have to get involved either - but we could, if we get a sound business plan applying for funding/loans etc.
As a co-op you can issue non-profit loan stock. Or something. More info should be available here.
I've been browsing that website this morning, too.
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu May 17, 2012 11:52

I think you'd have to let anyone use it who wanted to. I don't see that as being a problem. In fact, I'd welcome the idea. Ghettoisation isn't good for anyone. So long as whoever's using it is for DIY..

ALSO

It should sell records behind the bar. Maybe not many. Records and zines. They did that at The Cavern in Exeter when I was there and it just MAKES SENSE.
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by Trev » Thu May 17, 2012 11:53

roundbitsofplastic wrote:I think you'd have to let anyone use it who wanted to. I don't see that as being a problem. In fact, I'd welcome the idea. Ghettoisation isn't good for anyone. So long as whoever's using it is for DIY..

ALSO

It should sell records behind the bar. Maybe not many. Records and zines. They did that at The Cavern in Exeter when I was there and it just MAKES SENSE.
Keep these ideas coming Ray. They're brilliant.

And it's this kind of thing that could turn it into a viable idea.
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu May 17, 2012 11:59

Obviously VERY pie-in-the-sky as it depends on what sort of space is available. But other places I've known have mounted art on the wall for a month at a time and sold that. Obviously might not suit venues depending on humidity/chances of damage etc, but letting people exhibit for free and taking a commission of any sales might help generate a small income with no real outlay. One place I worked at had a 12 month waiting list for their wall space (and that was before the smoking ban).
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by a layer of chips » Thu May 17, 2012 12:04

Can I add a request?

Daniel Chapman in a cage in the corner of the room. Tethered.

What about food? Let people bring their own in?

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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu May 17, 2012 12:10

a layer of chips wrote: What about food? Let people bring their own in?
Definitely. I think for the sort of scale we're looking at, the Health & Safety might be a pain in the arse. I did have a Food Safety qualification but I think that's lapsed now.

That said, if it were a larger place I would toadally be up for doing food. hippie food only though. Everything MUST have mung beans in. And nothing else. Just endless plates of mung beans.
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by DoNotDisconnect » Thu May 17, 2012 12:15

I'm sure people have already thought about this, but every venue should have a drumkit, guitar and bass amp that you can hire from them for a small deposit. Being free to hire obviously would make a difference (look at the Redhouse in Sheffield: it's a pretty popular venue, given that it's not particularly central - when we played there the other week I had to walk twenty minutes from the nearest bus stop!).

I guess these are just two fairly obvious suggestions, but I'm not sure anyone's made them yet.

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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by humblebee » Thu May 17, 2012 12:17

Sounds exciting. I'd be happy to help if I can - maybe with some comms and marketing? Maybe stick a few hundred in as well. I know that's bugger all in terms of what's needed, but if 100 people could do it then it starts to count, I guess?

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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu May 17, 2012 12:19

A PA and backline would be standard stuff. And someone who knows how to do sound.

If the place was free to hire (but with a deposit) then you've HAVE to take some of the door money, but that shouldn't be a problem.

It's start-up costs that will be the biggest hurdle, though..
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by leon » Thu May 17, 2012 12:22

Regarding the license, that link to the 1in12 club in Bradford I put on the other thread http://www.1in12.com/our-constitution.html says that they chose to operate on the same lines as a working men's club - I think in a nutshell a license isn't required as its a private members club owned by each and every member and therefore the premises, fixtures and fittings and all beer is already owned by the members and as such beer is not 'sold' on the premises. Or something. They recommend some books about WMCs that helped them understand the legal position.

However they also went down this route as they are anarcho punks who liked the idea that as a private members club the cops couldn't just walk in off the street and give them a hard time.
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by julieocean » Thu May 17, 2012 12:22

It would help to get someone on board who knows about the boring stuff like insurance and health and safety and fire regs and all that as getting that kind of thing wrong can be the death knell for a small venue. I hasten to add that this isn't me (I know nowt about owt), but there must be someone in the vast ranks of anorak who does this kind of stuff for a living who can spare a bit of time at the beginning. I would imagine the worst bit is getting everything in place and making sure your paperwork's in order and you've been inspected by the right people.

I've done a bit of accounts stuff though (and still do John's books for his business), so I might be able to help out with that kind of thing.

Also, two thoughts on where. Firstly, have you thought about a location that is out of London, but maybe not too far and on a regular bus/train route? It might cut down costs and you might get people to travel out if it's not too far? If you go north you might pick up some of the Midlands people (those Nottinghams'll turn up to the opening of a paper bag!) and if you pick somewhere that doesn't have a lot going on you might pick up some local trade too.

The second thing I thought might be possible would be to partner up with a 'non-pub' venue. Someone's already mentioned people putting on gigs at schools and community halls in the 'old days' and that might work if you can find a building that used during the day, but less in the evenings. One of the local promoters here was trying to set up something with Leicester College to use their venue for gigs and although it fell through in the end, it might be possible with the right partner. It might be an alternative to buying something (you could maybe negotiate a flat fee for the year rather than per gig?).

Just a thought (but please feel free to ignore the ramblings of an old woman!).

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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by a layer of chips » Thu May 17, 2012 12:23

I'm not sure if making it free to hire is the way to go. How much does a London venue of, say, 150 capcity cost to hire? Just make it cheaper, but not free. You need something coming in other than bar takings, and I wouldn't be too happy with taking money off the promoter at the end of the night, especially if they've struggled, and can't/won't give you the money. Just ask for a cheap room hire fee up front, or something.

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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by Trev » Thu May 17, 2012 12:24

I think the nitty gritty of food and all that will come later. What I need to work on first up is likely costs of the premises. Running costs, staff costs, licensing practicalities etc. From online reading food is a profitable part of running a pub, so it would be silly to rule it out. But yeah, all these things are up for discussion.

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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by a layer of chips » Thu May 17, 2012 12:27

Food and soft drinks are the only profitable parts of running a pub. Let's push the fizzy pop angle and get the venue sponsored by Fanta.

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