A Space for Young People to Create Their Futures

by AudioActive in Brighton, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 21st December 2018 we successfully raised £37,822 with 288 supporters in 24 days

This disused space was once a hive of activity. We need your help to revive it as a space for creation, vibes & hope for a generation

by AudioActive in Brighton, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Donations over and above our target will fund additional places on our new project 'Shift' a one-to-one music mentoring project working with some of Brighton & Hove's most vulnerable young people, including those affected by or at risk of exploitation. 

The Shift programme is mainly schools-based. Demand is so high that only 3 months into the academic year, over 80% of funded places have been filled with many schools still to get involved. Additionally young people living in the most challenging circumstances are often excluded from school or can not access other places we work. If we exceed our target we will be able to offer one-to-one support for these young people at Bottega Rooms or in the community where we will also support them to meet new people & friends, collaborate with others and become part of the AudioActive family.  


Welcome to AudioActive's Crowdfunder for Bottega Rooms, a space for young people to create their futures.

The Mission...

We've been offered an amazing opportunity to take over and breathe new life into a large disused space in Brighton. We want to revive it as a hub for young people, music and social innovation and we need your help. By donating to this project, you will be helping to transform this run down dead-space into a beacon of hope for talented, often marginalised young people where they will be able to:

  • Access high quality facilities and equipment
  • Participate in positive activities & communities most nights of the week
  • Nurture talents that are often neglected in mainstream education
  • Collaborate with and be mentored by professional artists
  • Develop skills and networks for the future

By helping us to develop accessible creation spaces your support will also be helping to supercharge Brighton's music scene AND make it more inclusive. 

'This is such an important project because services for young people are disappearing fast and young people, especially the ones who get left out, need more places where they can thrive' 

Rag'n'Bone Man - AudioActive Patron

About AudioActive...

AudioActive is a Brighton-based charity working with up to 1000 young people per year across Sussex. Music has the power to change lives and through our many projects we are helping to create better futures for young people. 

Projects like:

'AudioActive saved and changed my life: it gave me an opportunity to not only showcase my musical abilities, but it also allowed me to freely explore my multiple personalities and become a lot more confident with the person that I am'

Marshall - Participant 

  • Equaliser our electronic music project for young women working to create a fairer, more inclusive music industry from the bottom up.

  • Break4Change is a partnership with RISE and Brighton & Hove Council working creatively with families in crisis due to Child-to-Parent Violence. The project has even enabled young people to leave the care system and live with their families again.

'Break4Change gave me hope when there was none...' 


Music for music's sake...

We’re not just using music for social innovation though… to us, music is an end in itself and we run loads of free open-access inclusive projects where teenagers of all walks of life can collaborate with each other and work with professional artists to learn, create and perform music. 

‘Without AudioActive I don’t know how long it would have taken me to realise that I had more freedom to be creative than I thought I did’ 

Jordan Stephens, Rizzle Kicks - AudioActive Patrons

The Problem

In a nutshell, AudioActive needs a base to be able to do our best work with young people. We currently work from multiple locations, usually community rooms hired by the hour across Brighton, Hove and Sussex. Our community has not been given the chance to develop and thrive from a sense of place & identity.

Through 18 years of operation we’ve been privileged to have met lots of awe inspiring young people. However by the age of 16, many very talented young people have been let down by, or simply did not fit into the conventional education system. As a result, many of our most promising young creative minds plateau in their late teens and sadly never fulfil their potential. As notable business leaders and innovators reflect, many of them once fit this ‘square peg in a round hole’ profile, describing negative experiences of, or dropping out of education. Think Da Vinci, Einstein, Steve Jobs... but how many incredible young people will never make their mark because they were let down by our education system?

AudioActive is committed to championing these ‘square pegs’. To give them an equal chance to create their futures we need to provide access to resources and provision of equivalent or higher quality to those enjoyed by their counterparts in mainstream education and its hard for us to offer this, working in a pop-up way from other people’s spaces. 

The Solution

In the summer we launched Square Holes, a vision to pioneer the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for non-formal talent development. Bringing together high-end facilities and mentoring to develop high-level skills and opportunities for our young people through real life projects first and foremost, as opposed to delivering courses and qualifications. This is what we mean by non-formal

With support from Arts Council England, our Centre of Excellence project is gaining momentum and we expect to realise the centre in the next 2-3 years, but in the meantime we have been offered an amazing opportunity to take on a large ‘meanwhile space’ as a proof of concept for the Centre of Excellence. 

The space is currently an empty shell but comprises 13 soundproofed rooms including; rehearsal spaces, class rooms, an office, a presentation space and studios just sitting there waiting to be equipped and used!

What will the finished space be? Introducing BOTTEGA ROOMS...

Partnership & collaboration is in our DNA and one of the concepts we want to explore is:

'bottega [bot-té-ga] the studio or workshop of a major artist in which apprentice artists may participate in the execution of the projects'

To put this into action we have invited some of the professional artists that we work with to set up their own studios in the space. We will give them a heavy discount on their rent and in return, they will open their doors, once a week, to provide a free masterclass where young people can get involved or collaborate. We're also working with local heroes and vibe ambassadors QM Records to develop and manage the space. 

Resident artist studios include:

In addition to this Bottega Rooms will also include:

  • A dedicated project space for Equaliser our female-only electronic music project
  • A Mac suite for large group music production workshops
  • 3 x large rehearsal rooms with high quality back line and P.A. These will be available for public hire at competitive rates and will generate the revenue to fund ongoing activity for young people 
  • A multi-use live lounge/stage room/film & photography studio & performance space also available for public hire
  • Reception area & Communal Area with refreshments available 
  • We are excited about creating a hub of such a diverse density of creative and musical luminaries (and we're quite jealous of our young musicians and emerging artists, getting such an opportunity in their formative years). We're convinced that the project will give rise to some significant collaborations and music. Spaces like this really matter   

How will the money be spent?

  • Making the space safe; fire extinguishers, electrical certification, insurance
  • Materials; paint, minor repairs
  • Equipment; mainly computers for the Mac suite, Microphones, back line, P.A, leads & cables

We already have some of the equipment needed for the spaces and we have been lucky enough to secure all of the furniture we need through donations. The vast majority of the money raised will be spent on the missing equipment for the communal use rooms. The professional artists are equipping their own studios and our Patron Rag'n'Bone Man has kindly donated lots of equipment for the community studio. 

Once open, the space will be able to generate enough revenue to pay for more work with young people, but we need your help to get the project off the ground. As this is just a meanwhile (temporary) space, only a small proportion of donations will be used on works or infrastructure.  


We would also welcome donations of equipment or time. E.g. if you're a manufacturer or a tradesperson who is passionate about our cause then why not get in touch to discuss donating some equipment, or help with electrical/gas work etc. Even support with painting and decorating would be a massive help.

Thanks for reading


This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£50 or more

2 of 100 claimed

£50 Christmas Gift - Bottega Rooms Voucher

The ideal Christmas gift for musical friends, family or yourself. Redeemable against: REHEARSAL ROOMS @ £10/hr (including back line, mics and high quality P.A system) and RECORDING STUDIO + engineer @ £25/hr (at the AudioActive x Rum Com Community Studio). If you're a Rum Com or Hip Hop fan you never know who you might meet passing through... To increase voucher value simply select additional donation. *Vouchers sent by email.

£10 or more

Bottega Buddies

Your name on the Bottega Buddies web page.

£20 or more

£20 Pay it Forward

Give the gift of rehearsal or recording time to a talented young musician at AudioActive who couldn't otherwise afford it. You'll receive a thank you from the upcoming act that you helped out, plus a link to the online tracks that you helped bring to life. Give yourself a pat on the back... you deserve it! To increase your Pay it Forward value simply select the 'additional donation' option when you buy this reward.

£25 or more

25 of 250 claimed

AudioActive T-shirt + Bottega Buddies

Get your own AudioActive T-Shirt + your name on the Bottega Buddies web page.

£50 or more

1 of 5 claimed

Rum Committee Merchandise Bundle

Rum Committee is a ten-piece Hip Hop collective formed in Brighton. Members include Rag'n'Bone Man, Gi3mo, Buckioe, Choice, Sherlock Bones, KD, Ceezlin, Direct & Dastard. As part of this bundle, you'll get 2 Rum Committee T-Shirts & 1 Rum Committee Hat.

£80 or more

3 of 20 claimed

£80 Sponsor a mic

Your donation will buy a much needed microphone for the space and you'll get your name on the Bottega Buddies web page as a Mic Sponsor.

£100 or more

11 of 150 claimed

Your name on the supporters' wall

Your name will be put on the supporters' wall in the Bottega Rooms reception area and on the Bottega Buddies web page.

£250 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Live Lounge Session in 4K

Create 4k content for your socials in the Live Lounge with Bottega Rooms resident Videographers S:YNC. You'll receive a 1.5hr rehearsal and prep in the space, plus up to 1hr shoot time + editing. *Dates subject to Videographer's availability.

£250 or more

2 of 3 claimed

Signed Vinyl: Rag'n'Bone Man - Bluestown

Get your hands on an exclusive signed copy of Rag'n'Bone Man's inaugural EP Bluestown. This vinyl is rare!

£400 or more

0 of 18 claimed

£400 Sponsor a Guitar Amp or Drum Kit

Your donation will buy a much needed guitar amp or drum kit for one of 6 practice or live rooms in the space. Your name will appear as a sponsor, both on the amp/kit and on the Bottega Buddies web page.

£600 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Artist Performance in a Private Space (Business)

This is your chance to be serenaded by an AudioActive-affiliated artist in an intimate location of your choice! Perhaps you want to shake up your office, christmas or birthday party – or simply want to see one of these amazing acts in your living room? *Any venue costs incurred need to be covered by supporter. *Locations over 20 miles from Brighton may incur additional expenses. *Subject to artist availability.

£1,800 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Sponsor a Mac

Help us to set up a computer suite where we can run music production workshops for large groups of young people. Get your or your company's name on the Mac you have provided along with your name on the Bottega Buddies web page.

£10,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

The Mac Daddy - Sponsor the whole Mac Suite

Be the headline sponsor for the Mac Suite and sleep soundly knowing that tomorrow's hidden super producers are being nurtured because of you! You'll get a placard both at the entrance and inside the suite acknowledging your support, your name as the The Mac Daddy on the Bottega Buddies webpage and supporters' wall, 1-year honorary membership of our business supporters initiative 'The Movement' – plus a shout out in our annual report.

£40 or more

3 of 3 claimed

Meal for 2 at Fatto a Mano + Bottega Buddies

Be wined and dined by our friends at Fatto a Mano... arguably the best pizzas Brighton & Hove. You'll receive two main courses and two drinks, plus your name will be added to the Bottega Buddies web page. *Anything consumed over and above this will be paid for by the customer at the restaurant. One deal available per restaurant (London Rd, North Laine & Hove).

£40 or more

2 of 2 claimed

5L mini-keg from Holler Brewery (collection only)

Pledge £40 and you will receive 5 litres of lovely craft beer from our friends at Holler Brewery & Taproom, plus your name will be added to the Bottega Buddies web page. *This reward is collection only from Holler Brewery in Brighton. If you look under 25 years of age you will need ID to verify that you are over 18.

£50 or more

1 of 1 claimed

2 Tickets to Hot 8 + photo with the band

Two tickets to see Hot 8 Brass Band at Concorde 2, Brighton on 16th Feb 2019, plus a meet & greet, and an exclusive photo with the band! *Courtesy of Tru Thoughts Records.

£200 or more

1 of 1 claimed

2 x VIP Tickets for Truefest 2019 (Camping)

Hosted in and around the grounds of Baskerville Hall in the Welsh borders. Truefest is a weekend long fancy dress party which happens at the height of summer for around 600 people. Reward includes: 2 x VIP Tickets (Camping not House), plus a complimentary bottle of prosecco waiting for you to help get the party started!

£1,000 or more

4 of 4 claimed

Sponsor a Rehearsal Room

A personalised placard at the entrance to the practice room with your or your company's name as a sponsor, plus your name on the Bottega Buddies web page. Once up and running, the rehearsal rooms will generate the revenue to sustain activities for young people most nights of the week, so your donation will literally be helping us to keep this project sustainable.

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