The Cellar is a family run, grassroots music venue in the heart of Oxford. We are one of the only truly independent music venues left, and we cater to anyone who wants to have fun and listen to good music. We are all about giving people a unique experience in an experimental and welcoming space, right in the centre of the city.
Philip Sellway (Radiohead) with his drum kindly available via our Crowdfunder
"I’m supporting this crowdfunding campaign to keep this longstanding venue open. The Cellar is an important part of the musical and cultural life of Oxford. It’s venues like this that are actually the lifeblood of music, they support and nurture new and emerging talent. Also with its history of hosting bands like Foals and The National and Mumford and Sons, there’s an extra incentive as a performer to raise your game so this all adds up to memorable performances in a great venue, let's not lose it”
Philip Selway (Radiohead)
The Cellar is on the verge of closure because new stringent fire regulations have cut our capacity from 150 to 60 people. We need to raise £80,000 over the next 5 weeks to build a new fire exit, or we’ll be closing our doors in December 2018 forever.
We’ve had a tough year. At the end of 2017, we were threatened with closure when our landlords wanted to redevelop our beloved basement club into retail space. 14,000 people signed a petition and over 1000 people lobbied the council in a brilliant campaign to fight the plans. And we won thanks to the public’s incredible support.
In our fight to save The Cellar, we have been placed under huge financial strain, incurring large legal costs. Worse still, since our capacity has been cut, we have lost many of our most popular nights and our promoters have understandably had to go elsewhere with their larger shows.
Photo by Ben Spear
“The Cellar is a legendary Oxford venue which has been running for years with so many acts both international and local have played in this venue. It’s just hosted so much diverse talent and been a launch pad for many local acts - being at the heart of the Oxford music scene – which have gone on to see global acclaim. It’s so important that we don’t loose venues such as this in Oxford so please do want you can to help save it. Thank you!”
Mark Gardener (Ride)
The good news is that it is possible to increase our capacity by building a new fire exit from The Cellar into Frewin Court. It is major structural work but if we can raise the money, the renovations will improve the space, enabling The Cellar to thrive, not just survive.
Photo by Ian Wallman
We need to raise £80,000 to fund our #CellarForever project. This one-month programme of renovation includes building the new fire escape and supporting the costs of temporary closure, as well as the improvements below:
A new fire exit would have the potential to increase our capacity to over 200 people
- We would remove the bar in the main room, allowing a larger audience area with a better view of the stage.
- The side rooms would become the bar service areas, which would improve the club’s layout.
- If we go beyond our target, we’d love to improve our air conditioning (so that our customers can be even cooler!)
I was an ambassador for Independent Venue Week last year because I’m so passionate about supporting these venues that made and built my career. Save the Cellar!”
Nadine Shah (Mercury Award Nominee)
The Cellar is a unique and much-loved venue in Oxford, providing all kinds of wonderful music to local people. Over the years, we’ve supported so many musicians, sound engineers and promoters to hone their craft, and we want to continue operating as a totally independent venue in an increasingly homogenized city centre.
We were overwhelmed by your support for our campaign earlier this year and it became clear how much The Cellar means to so many people. You can read this for yourself here!
“Small venues are so important, I remember starting out in ’93, ’94 with my first band The Jennifers, we played what was then called The Dolly, now called The Cellar. We wouldn’t have got anywhere without these small venues, they’re really important for building up the vibe of a band when they’re first starting out. So it would be just disastrous if it wasn’t able to continue. Help the Cellar and be part of the Crowdfunding page.”
We are throwing everything at this campaign to raise £80,000 in 5 weeks. We’re asking local businesses, music lovers and anyone who cares about what The Cellar stands for, to support #CellarForever by making a donation and investing in us, for the long-term.
Please donate using the link provided. We’ve got a list of juicy rewards to encourage you to dig deep, and we are massively grateful to everyone who has contributed so far.
In summary, we’d have to agree with the Oxford-based band, Glass Animals: “To see The Cellar turned into some retail outlet would be like beating the small heart of the Oxford music scene to a pulp with a pre-made sandwich.”
Let’s do this.
“Oxford's best small venue. The place FOALS first learnt to blow the doors off a joint”
Yannis Philippakis (Foals)
I went to one of my first gigs with Dave at The Cellar, we saw Friendly Fires. There were six other people there, we became best friends. Later on, we made this band and played there ourselves. We might not have done if not for that venue”
Please try to help keep this small but important music venue open. We all have come through these places.”
Nils Lofgren (E Street Band)
“Smaller venues are really important because that’s where the majority of bands play in the UK.”
The Lovely Eggs
“The Cellar is one of the best small independent venues in the UK, and a bastion of underground culture in Oxford. Help save it from the pencil pushers and redevelopers I’ve played in - is fighting for survival. Please check this link to help ensure Oxford retains some active underground culture”
Alex Neilson (Trembling Bells)
The Cellar is a massive part of Oxford’s music scene and it’s music history. I’ve had some amazing shows there. I’d hate to see it disappear
"The Cellar is one of our most important hubs in Oxford’s music scene. It’s right I the middle of the city where the pressures of keeping an independent venue open are already massive, but we’ve got the chance now to keep this important venue thriving”
Henry Darnel (Young Knives)