Save The Sound Lounge

by The Sound Lounge in Sutton, Greater London, United Kingdom

We did it
On 16th February 2024 we successfully raised £46,590 with 1242 supporters in 42 days

The Sound Lounge needs to raise £35,000 to keep doors open

by The Sound Lounge in Sutton, Greater London, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

We cannot believe that this has happened. We are lost for words. THANK YOU for saving The Sound Lounge from imminent closure!!! We WILL go on!!!

We were advised to put this stretch target of £45,000 in place which is an extra £10,000 on top of our original target. We DO NOT expect anyone to donate to this. We know times are tough and we have absolutely hated having to reach and ask for help. Now that we have made our £35K target will be able to pay the outsanding bills - debt collectors gone!!! We will do everything we have promised to create a longterm future.

If we raise additional funds we will use them to:

* Recruit a consultant asap to convert our CIC to charity (CIO) status. The funds will cover the auditing and accountancy additional fees which will be required as part of the transfer to charitable status. We know this is the route for our model to long term viability. Total cost is £4,500

* Service the equipment in the venue which is broken - has been broken for a long time but we haven't been able to fix because our bills have been so substantial: Stage Monitors, One of our two top speakers (if you've been at a live gig recently you may have noticed several speakers on stands and random speakers on the stage), a faulty boiler which currently requires us to get on a ladder throughout the day because it keeps overheating and cutting out. Total cost £5,500

This year has been really difficult.  Grassroots music venues in this country are currently closing at a rate of one a week. We are fighting the same battles as all our friends in the grassroots sector; that is to say rising energy & supplier costs, crippling VAT, rates and rent bills. In April, minimum wage goes up which only raises the burden for hospitality places further and will increase our supplier costs yet again. 

Keiron and I lost quite a lot of our staff when we came from our autumn tour so since October, without the money to replace staff we lost, we have been covering shifts to ensure everything keeps running. But it's been really hard on us physically: opening up in the morning and working til close and not getting home until 2am - working on average 70hrs a week between the physical shifts and admin. We don't get days off and we can't really afford to pay ourselves what we need to survive personally.

Additionally all the time we are working in the venue we aren't on top of the admin. It all feels a bit debilitating from every angle. But The Sound Lounge is something we have lived and worked for, for 12 years (3 of those being here in Sutton). It means everything. AND it makes a real difference to people's lives.

Since opening in Sutton The Sound Lounge has become the very first music venue in the UK to achieve Carbon Neutral certification.  We have established an #ArtForAll programme to ensure people from low-income backgrounds like ours, can access and experience the benefits that live music brings. We were founding partners in a Green Enterprise Partnership (GEP) scheme which offers pioneering tax incentives for small businesses like ours when they reduce their emissions - effectively supporting them to decarbonise. The scheme has even been invited to present at the United Nations! We set up ‘Folk in the Park’ - an annual day-long festival in central Sutton bringing national & international names to our beloved, green corner of south London. We know we make a difference.

Some other achievements from the last 2 years:

* hosted  325 shows

* provided a platform for 506 artists

* Gave our venue at no cost for 94 x charity events 

* Made 515 x free friendship coffees for people suffering from social isolation

* Invested £28,320 in our #ArtForAll programme ensuring people from low-income backgrounds have access to live music

* Made 123 x free hot meals for people living with food insecurity

* Prevented 37.95 tonnes of Co2 entering the atmosphere just by being plant-based

* Launched free sound engineering training for 9 local people 

If you have been to The Sound Lounge you will have experienced for yourself the impact it makes. And you will know how much it means. We are not the sort of people who give up easily. We have some ideas and we have hope. But we have reached a critical point.

We desperately need a minimum of £35,000 in order to pay off outstanding debt which poses an imminent threat to us. If we can raise that money, we can ensure that we can prevent the closure we are currently facing. We have a matter of weeks and not months. This has not built up as a result of mismanagement, it is a compound effect from the economic recovery following covid, the cost of living crisis which has seen all our costs soar exponentially - from food ingredients through to energy costs whilst spend per head has steadily declining. Throughout all of it we have remained committed to bringing new, emerging & original live music to our local area.


We have sought financial advice on how to get our venue on to a solid footing and to plan for a future which has longterm viability. If we can raise the money to keep us going for the next few months we can pay the debts which threaten to close us right now, and we will convert our CIC status (this stands for Community Interest Company - basically it's a Not-For-Profit Ltd Company, also known as a social enterprise) to 'Charitable Organisation' status. We are confident that we meet the charitable objectives criteria because of all the charitable work we already do.  We believe this will be a route to viability as it will reduce overheads and allow us to carry out meaningful fundraising giving companies the tax incentives to get behind us. Charitable status will also make us more eligible for grant funding as well.

Thank you for reading this far and we are so sorry if this comes as a shock or is upsetting for you to read. We want you to know that we are not giving up!

Lots of love,

Hannah, Keiron and the Sound Lounge team

PS ** this is an all or nothing campaign. If we do not reach the target we will have to close and it also means you will get your donation back - you won't lose your money for no reason **

Got an idea like this?

Over £200 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.