Long Live Paper Dress!
Hannah started Paper Dress as a vintage shop in 2007 and over the years has added a coffee shop, bar, music venue and a yoga studio - not to mention a husband, Steve, to the business. Paper Dress was, until recently, a thriving grassroots music venue supported by Arts Council England and recognised as an important cultural destination in Hackney, a place where all are welcome, the beer is tasty and the people friendly...
What's the current situation at Paper Dress?
Since the Covid-19 pandemic has gripped the country, we've sadly shut down our music venue and yoga studio until further notice..
We're worried about what this closure will mean for us and the future of our community, particularly our freelance staff, as well as the wider network of grassroots music venues across the UK who are all struggling with similar challenges. It's also clear that, even when lockdown is lifted, it will take time for us to be able to open fully and operate at a level that will meet our monthly outgoings over the coming year - socially distanced gigs and yoga classes just aren't economically viable.
We've calculated that our monthly expenditure on rent on two properties, wages, loan interest, utilities and all the other demands small businesses are faced with is about £12,000. We have been supported with a government grant but that money is slowly dwindling and we are looking at a very uncertain and rocky future right now.
A bit more about us...
With our signature black & white flooring and red curtains we've stamped our personal taste and passions all over the business; lovingly-curated vintage delights line the walls, the fridges are packed with local independent breweries and we throw all our love and dedication into every event. Imagine the elegance and style of an art deco prohibition bar with the pop art fun of 60s Biba....our trademark is a friendly house party atmosphere but with a world class sound system and plenty of psychedelic lights!
“A bit like stumbling into the house party of someone with an exceptionally curated wardrobe… a place to catch future stars at their most formative period”(Time Out London)
Next door to the venue we've built a fantastic community of yoga teachers and students with our welcoming studio - who'd have thought quiet yoga haven (shhh!) and a LOUD venue could co-exist hand-in-hand!
How can we help?
Your donations will be used to help us keep hold of our building, support our freelance sound engineers who are currently out of work, and leave us in a position where we will be able to survive the troubled months we have ahead of us.
We've come up with a long list of creative options for you to support us, including some lovely handmade vintage face coverings, delivering our beer to your door as part of our new virtual pop-up 'It's the end of the world as we know it' (thanks Hackney Brewery!), bar tabs, tickets for our relaunch weekend, online yoga classes and more (see the rewards tab)!
Even if you've never visited but like the sound of what we're doing and support arts, culture, underground music and good vibes then consider supporting us, and make sure you put that right when we're-open! #SaveOurVenues
Thank you for reading.
We will be back!
Here's a few quotes from some of our community:
"Just brilliant. A fabulous, small, friendly venue with a wide range of live entertainment. You will not get this close to the stage in many other places." (Neil T.)
"Love this place. Truly authentic and cool bit of East London. Great music. Fairly priced booze. Been a bunch of times and love it." (Bioux H.)
"Fantastic venue and shop run by great people trying to make a positive impact in hackney. Paper dress also hosts my favourite open mic every Sunday. Staff is knowledgeable, kind and professional. If you haven't already been, go check it out" (Jules B.)
"One of the best small venues to visit and host at with great local breweries on draught and in the fridges! (Steve G.)
"I've been here for two gigs now and both times the atmosphere and staff were sublime." (Andrew W.)
"Had a great time performing at the Paper Dress Vintage with @Halfpenny. really quirky and different. great atmosphere and fun night out." (Ian G.)
"So cute! Great drinks, lovely clothes, friendly staff and a really quirky and intimate music venue complete with a nice big shiny disco ball. LOVE !" (Jolanta K.)
"Very inspiring and feel at home place. Love the music and ambience." (Gabriel M.)