Save Luna!

by Declan Walsh in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Total raised £9,491

£75,000 target 20 days left
12% 188 supporters
This project will only be funded if at least £75,000 is pledged by 14th June 2024 at 4:00pm

Our campaign is to save Luna, a beloved Live grassroots music venue and community third place location from closure.

by Declan Walsh in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Save Luna! 

A Call to Preserve the heartbeat of East London’s Live Music scene.

Dear Friends, 

It breaks our hearts to write this, but not as much as it would to have to close Luna’s doors to you. 

Luna has been the cultural heartbeat of Leytonstone from when it opened its doors in 2004. Since then, Luna has achieved remarkable milestones. It is proudly the most active Grassroots music venue in the UK, showcasing over 400 grassroots gigs a year. We provide a platform for thousands of Artists. Luna collaborates extensively with nearby academic institutions, offering a unique opportunity for up-and-coming musical talents to utilise our facilities at no cost. Emerging bands are invited to leverage our space for complimentary rehearsal and live instrument recording, providing an invaluable resource for those unable to access private studio time.

About Luna

Luna, a network for creativity is a sanctuary for music enthusiasts seven nights a week. Not only that, Luna is what London could be. A melting pot. Where every demographic can come together, forget their troubles at the door and have a night to remember for all the right reasons.  It’s a place where people make friends for life, meet future partners, find the confidence to play live, experience their first ever gig, form bands together. To taste that possibility. That intoxicating idea of a career in music is within reach. 

Dreams come to life at Luna. But people feel ALIVE at Luna. This was always Suja’s dream. The founder of Luna. He created a place for those that didn’t fit in, a home for everyone.  

Luna won Timeout awards in 2015, 2016, and 2018. Post-pandemic Luna struggled. Sadly across our sector, we are seeing the model that worked five years ago is no longer sustainable. 126 grassroots venues closed last year. On average it’s one each week. Luna is fighting to survive the same battles as our cherished counterparts. Rising energy costs, crippling VAT, escalating rates and bills. We don't want to be next.

Luna’s History 

Suja tragically and unexpectedly passed away aged 45, only 3 days after Declan joined as a business partner. With no succession plan, information, or guidance, Luna was at enormous risk of closing forever. Our team fought tirelessly to keep the doors open, to fulfill Suja’s life's work, to continue showcasing live music seven nights a week - and we’re proud we did. 

Almost 3 years on from losing Suja, Luna has a new plan in place. But we need your help. Luna was his life’s work. All the furniture was built by his hands. Our floor was reclaimed from the old Woolworths shelving next door and it was painstakingly laid by Suja and friends of Luna to become our floor. There are so many stories like this about our special venue.  

Luna Presently

Luna’s lease remains in Suja’s name. Over the pandemic, it accrued a rent arrears. To secure a new lease, we need to repay this, pay a year in advance, and conduct the maintenance/building work to comply. The new lease will enable us to challenge our business rates - as the venue is still registered as a shoe shop. This cannot be changed without a new lease.

We are converting to a Community Interest Company (CIC), a legal structure halfway between a charity and a company. It has a charitable purpose, not for profit but exists on a mixture of charitable funding and traded revenue. 

We're reaching out to you to breathe life into a cherished but outdated space that has barely survived a cost of living crisis. Huge, ridiculous energy hikes. Incorrect business rates. Massively increased costs on everything from utilities to stock. Multiple floods. It’s been a journey. 

What Your Contribution Means: 

  • Outdated Infrastructure: Luna desperately needs modernisation, including new equipment, complete rewiring, soundproofing, two new ceilings and accessibility features for everyone. 
  • Becoming A Community Interest Company: This allows us to give back to the community officially as a social enterprise. 
  • Community Oasis: We aim to transform our space into a vibrant community hub during the day fostering connections through music and learning and providing a safe, free haven for all. 
  • Soundproofing: To address noise concerns and ensure harmony with our neighbours, we plan to implement improved soundproofing measures, creating a peaceful coexistence. 
  • Energy Efficiency: Rising energy costs are a challenge. Your support will help us invest in energy-efficient solutions, ensuring long-term sustainability. 
  • Arrears: Unfortunately when Suja died suddenly there were complications around outstanding debts and legal ramifications that have meant Luna has incurred more costs that are currently outstanding. 
  • Community Impact: Your support keeps our venue alive, offering invaluable services to the community and promoting local and international artists. 
  • Music Legacy: Help us honour our vision by ensuring that the dreams of our musicians are fulfilled by giving them a space to grow, perform and create a fanbase for life.

The (Potential) Future 

The tragic loss of our irreplaceable founder has left a young team physically and financially stretched, we haven't had days off and now we’re at a critical point. We need a minimum of £75,000 urgently to pay off looming debts threatening closure. This is not mismanagement; it's the cumulative effect of economic recovery post-COVID, a soaring cost of living crisis, and declining spend per head.

If we secure the funds to secure Luna, we'll pay off immediate debts, undertake the necessary building and maintenance work and transition to a CIC. This move will reduce overheads, facilitate meaningful fundraising, and make us more eligible for grants.

This is an all-or-nothing campaign. 

Failure to reach our target means Luna will close, and your donation will be returned. We are not giving up, but we need your help.

Thank you for reading this far. Your support is our lifeline.

With love,

Declan, and the entire Luna team. 

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£50 or more

Your name on the wall

Donate £50 or more, we will have all the names of all the supporters that helped save Luna.

£100 or more

9 of 75 claimed

Cocktail lesson from the team

One of our mixologists will teach you how to shake your very own cocktails and reveal some secrets to our very own signature drinks.

£500 or more

Party at Luna

We'll throw you a party in the basement to say thank you for your donation.

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