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

DIY clubs, gigs, fun
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Trev
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by Trev » Thu May 17, 2012 12:30

Some venues in London are 'free' but you have to hire in a sound tech at about £80 a night.

I think London offers the best chance of doing shows every night of the week and getting all small DIY scenes involved. I agree about the venue having its own backline. I'm not adverse to going outside London but the gig market in London is massive and if we pitched it right the venue could be busy 7 days a week with DIY shows.

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

Post by julieocean » Thu May 17, 2012 12:34

A completely different enterprise, but this lot were on the radio a few months back and they seem to have a good model. They have a few paid staff, but run mainly with volunteers.

http://www.thepeoplessupermarket.org

I'm sure plenty of anoraks would volunteer to run the bar, etc for a bit in return for free pop! (music as opposed to Fanta)

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

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu May 17, 2012 12:37

a layer of chips wrote: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.
Even on bottles/cans? Is does everyone think that's a shit idea?

I think going down the Members' Club route might make some of the official fire regs etc. a little easier to negotiate.

As said above it may be an idea to use a venue that's not currently used at night (ie, a non 'gig' venue) and pay a flat rent for the year.

If there was a dedicated venue though, I vote that bands should be allowed to sleep in the venue if necessary. That doesn't seem too common over here but it's bloody obvious that it can really help in a sticky situation.

And the bar should be run (at least in the majority, and at least to start with) by volunteers. You;d just need a dedicated person for stock control, really, they might even be available as a volunteer (I'm still thinking cans/bottles here).
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu May 17, 2012 12:40

I think you're right Trev, London is probably the only place where the venue would stand a chance of being used 7 nights per week and that's the key.

I also think a low fee is ideal, £50 or something. But then you need to figure out who's doing sound and are they included in the price? Maybe 2 set prices, one for the room & PA, one for that plus a sound tech (we MUST know some who will do it for a £30 or something, money goes straight to them. Or even some or all of that fee to the venue if they're a super-lovely volunteer type).
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by humblebee » Thu May 17, 2012 12:48

roundbitsofplastic wrote:Even on bottles/cans? Is does everyone think that's a shit idea?
If it helps make the thing viable, it's worth looking at. The Rising Sun Arts Centre in Reading is another non-profit, volunteer-run venue (it might be worth checking them out as a case study generally) and I think they just do cans and bottles.
Last edited by humblebee on Thu May 17, 2012 12:51, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by shit_records » Thu May 17, 2012 12:49

I'm really really new here but I couldn't help but get enthralled with what you guys are talking about. Just to add my twopenneth worth, I do a lot of live sound work and wouldn't mind helping on advice with what monitor and PA system would be needed for what sizes an spaces or in the way down the line volunteering my services/working at a very cut price rate. Also, I don;t know if this is any help but these guys have been doing a great job of putting on dance nights in unconventional non-venue/bar locations for a while now. Seems like a really fun idea and agreat way of breaking out of the usual bar venue hassles http://dummymag.com/new-music/2011/10/1 ... fun-again/

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

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu May 17, 2012 12:49

humblebee wrote:
roundbitsofplastic wrote:Even on bottles/cans? Is does everyone think that's a shit idea?
If it helps make the thing viable, it's worth looking at. The Rising Sun Arts Centre in Reading is another non-profit, volunteer-run venue (might be worth checking them out as a case study) and I think they just do cans and bottles.
I just think it HAS to be easier. No brewery, less work on cellar/pumps, less outlay. Obviously the downside is you're not going to good a right good pint, but that's not exactly a given at a gig, is it?
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu May 17, 2012 12:53

Carsmile Steve's mate has something to do with co-ops. He just sent me two links. One was a part of the page already linked above, the other was for a paid-for service, which might be of use further down the link: linky

He also says we can put questions to him/have an informal chat when we have some sort of idea what we're looking at :-)
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by paukl » Thu May 17, 2012 13:16

roundbitsofplastic wrote:I think you're right Trev, London is probably the only place where the venue would stand a chance of being used 7 nights per week and that's the key.

I also think a low fee is ideal, £50 or something. But then you need to figure out who's doing sound and are they included in the price? Maybe 2 set prices, one for the room & PA, one for that plus a sound tech (we MUST know some who will do it for a £30 or something, money goes straight to them. Or even some or all of that fee to the venue if they're a super-lovely volunteer type).
A sticking point here might be that there probably is someone who'll do sound for £30 but if you want to put shows on seven nights week you'd need a pool of people willing to do that, or maybe one person on a salary of some kind?

Maybe that's a bit too 'nitty gritty' for now. For what it's worth I'd love to get involved with this if I can help in any way.

One guy who might be worth talking to is Michal, the MIddle Ones' manager / producer / driver / best friend. He owns and runs a venue in Bristol called Cafe Kino. Upstairs it's a vegan cafe, coffee bar type place, downstairs it''s a gig venue. It might not be entirlely appropriate as I don't think it's a co-op but he'd defintely know the ins and outs of licences, running costs etc and he's MASSIVE on everything being DIY, buidling scences and that so I'm sure he'd be more than happy to give some advice.

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

Post by Trev » Thu May 17, 2012 13:22

Cool! I know Michal a little so will hit him up for some information.

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

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu May 17, 2012 13:35

I think Kino is a co-op, y'know Paul. Can't believe I overlooked that! (Just checked their website, yup, it's a co-op)
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by paukl » Thu May 17, 2012 13:38

Well there you go! Learn sommat new every day :)

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

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu May 17, 2012 13:39

paukl wrote: A sticking point here might be that there probably is someone who'll do sound for £30 but if you want to put shows on seven nights week you'd need a pool of people willing to do that, or maybe one person on a salary of some kind?
A pool of casuals is probably the best bet. If you keep someone on a salary you'd need them to a) be willing to work 7 days, and b) make sure you have bookings 7 days or yr down every night there's no show.

A pool of possible sound types is my vote on this.

Also, a propos of nothing, I'm a First Aider. Not for long, like, it'll run out soon.
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by char » Thu May 17, 2012 13:52

I was saying to Trev that one option might be to hook up with charities that train people from disadvantaged backgrounds and want work placements for them (Youth Music maybe?). There might be a bit of funding attached to it and would be a great thing to be able to do. This could then open up the opportunity of becoming a Community Interest Company or social enterprise and provide other financing options. I don't know much about CICs but it might be worth investigating.

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

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu May 17, 2012 14:03

I'd be wary of external funding for a number of reasons. But that's probably just me (I'm aware it's entirely unhelpful not to say what those reasons are, but if it comes up at a later point I'll blabb).
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by Trev » Thu May 17, 2012 16:36

On Sunday I'm gonna set up a email list so those interested in being involved can subscribe and contribute to the discussions. I might also set a wee invite only private forum to discuss more nitty gritty issues.

I'll post updates in here when it's ready to go.
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by Trev » Thu May 17, 2012 16:45

roundbitsofplastic wrote:I'd be wary of external funding for a number of reasons. But that's probably just me (I'm aware it's entirely unhelpful not to say what those reasons are, but if it comes up at a later point I'll blabb).
I think getting external funding might be necessary for us. Unless someone has 50 grand under their mattress.....
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu May 17, 2012 16:54

Trev wrote: I think getting external funding might be necessary for us. Unless someone has 50 grand under their mattress.....
As a co-op we could sell stock to supporters, that kind of funding I'd be okay with. I have at least £2k to start with and I earn piss all. I think it's worth seeing what we could feasibly raise without having to worry about making commitments to 3rd parties. I personally think it's important to keep this initiative as independent/autonomous as possible.
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by Trev » Thu May 17, 2012 16:58

roundbitsofplastic wrote:
Trev wrote: I think getting external funding might be necessary for us. Unless someone has 50 grand under their mattress.....
As a co-op we could sell stock to supporters, that kind of funding I'd be okay with. I have at least £2k to start with and I earn piss all. I think it's worth seeing what we could feasibly raise without having to worry about making commitments to 3rd parties. I personally think it's important to keep this initiative as independent/autonomous as possible.
I am not averse to taking money to make something work as long as we are taking money to do some good and most importantly help the project (ie the venue) come to life.

Yep, more nitty gritty stuff I reckon.

We can debate the rights and wrongs of social enterprise when we know who's on board and what skills we have and just as importantly the ones we don't.
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Re: A co-operative venue in London (or elsewhere)?

Post by Jennifer » Thu May 17, 2012 17:02

Just saw this and love the idea, had to butt in!
The white lion pub in Streatham is run by a charity and volunteers and such, it runs community events and has a hostel and a training radio station in the basement, also sells vintage clothes http://www.whitelion.org.uk/

Any chance this co-op venue could be to the West rather than to the East of London? It would be great to see something like the White Lion over our end. Everything's in East London! Lots of people in West London love pop!! :)

Oh and what about an arts grant?
And hot food (e.g. have 2 options only) like in the Cowley club in Brighton.

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