Save The Social

by The Social in London, England, United Kingdom

Save The Social
We did it
On 31st August 2019 we successfully raised £145,144 with 1932 supporters in 171 days

We've stopped the immediate sale of The Social. Now we're trying to buy a big enough chunk of the lease to secure the future of the bar.

by The Social in London, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target


The Social has hit its Crowdfunder target just eight days after launching thanks to overwhelming support from punters, bands, DJs, gig promoters, live agents, local businesses and friends and family. 

We can’t thank you enough for helping to secure the future for the Social. It has been a genuinely staggering response. 

As explained in the initial Crowdfunder statement, the raise of £95,000 was to help take the bar off the market and secure a stake in the lease which would give us a share of the business. 

Your incredibly generous pledges have stopped any potential sale and given us breathing space. Now, we’re going to extend the funding period until the middle of April to try to raise a more money to do some essential bar improvements and give us time to effectively plan how to finance the next twenty years of the Social. 

We’re not asking for donations. Rather, we will be adding incredibly generous rewards given to us by friends of the bar or dreamt up by us. We’ll also be throwing a series of fundraising gigs and club nights (beginning on March 23rd with a Fatboy Slim DJ set). 

These shows will be announced through the Social’s Twitter and Facebook pages; tickets will mostly be sold via Dice.FM, all proceeds will be added to the Crowdfunder page once they’ve sold out. So, we wanted to say a huge thank you for your support so far. 

Please keep an eye on the Social’s Crowdfunder page for daily additions to the rewards. Your help has got us this far - let’s see how much further we can go. 

All our love, believe in magic. 


The Social, the legendary West End venue that's hosted a list of names that includes the Chemical Brothers, Beck, Edna O’Brien, Wolf Alice, Adele, Bon Iver, Aphex Twin, Florence and the Machine and Cold War Steve wss under threat of closure just as it reached the milestone of its twentieth birthday. Rising rents and an offer to the building’s leaseholder from a cocktail and wine bar chain put The Social under very serious threat. Thanks to over 1800 people, the bar’s founders have raised enough money to take the bar off the market - we're carrying on the Crowdfund to try to take control of the lease in order to secure The Social's future for as long as you want to drink there. 


You can still help us - firstly check out our brilliant, limited edition rewards on this page and pledge your support. We'll be adding more as the campaign unfolds so keep an eye out for those. We also need you to help us spread the word. The more people we reach the more chance we have of securing the longterm future for The Social. Share the campaign with your friends, at work, on social media and beyond - we're going to keep adding great rewards over the summer. 

The Observer "It really is a place of extraordinary cultural alchemy and fun. It sometimes felt like I imagined the Village in New York might have in the 1950s: a bunch of people invested in the counter-culture, spreading the gospel, mixing up the medicine of literature and music, two great folk traditions.” 

The Quietus "Every time I went back I’d end up in a group of extraordinarily lovely people. They all knew each other but it wasn’t a clique, they simply had a shared philosophy, a belief in the magical potential of music that extends from the owners to the bar staff, the doormen to the sound technician."

The Guardian “No one will replace these spaces. What’s never acknowledged when you see stories of the kinds of rent rises and rates increases that take out more and more venues is that they are vital parts of the community – as vital as the BHS cafe on the high street or the public library. They are places for people to meet, to let go, to come alive. People need to hug these places close, as they’ll miss them when they’re gone.”

Time Out "It almost goes without saying that losing The Social would be a major loss to live music in central London, which has already lost iconic venues including the Astoria, the Metro and Madame JoJo’s in recent years. Everyone from Adele to the Arctic Monkeys has played there over the years, and it's also hosted literary salons, art and photography exhibitions and countless club nights. In short: it’s an important, long-running cultural hub right in the heart of W1."

DJ Magazine "Too many of the UK’s historic clubs have closed. Please save this iconic venue by donating whatever pennies you can afford"

The Standard "One of central London’s last live music venues is facing a “heartbreaking”  closure within weeks, its founders warned today."

NME “Give these venues some love now because they won’t be there forever and you’ll miss them when they’re gone. Going to gigs, buying a couple of pints and feeding frantic energy into venues…that’s what makes these places tick.”


When we opened in the summer of 1999, it was part of a thriving musical landscape in the capitol. One of the first public buildings designed by hugely respected architects David Adjaye OBE and Will Russell, The Social joined a list of central London music venues such the Astoria, the LA2, the End, Turnmills, Plastic People, The Falcon, the Metro and Madame JoJos (to name a few). Now, it's one of just a couple of places left to see bands or DJs in the West End.

The Social evolved out of the legendary Heavenly Sunday Social club nights that ran in various venues between ’94 and ’99 and helped push the career of the Chemical Brothers (nee Dust Brothers). Rather than act as a bricks and mortar extension of those nights, The Social quickly developed a reputation as a free-thinking, boundary-pushing destination for open minded drinkers from all over the capitol. 

Since it first opened its doors, The Social has played host to everyone from the Chemical Brothers to Edna O’Brien (twice), Wolf Alice, Adele, Caitlin Moran, Horace Andy, Bon Iver, Florence and the Machine, Young Fathers, DJ Yoda, Fatboy Slim (who sorted his records in the toilets before playing), Kate Tempest, Alt-J, Arctic Monkeys, Al Murray, MGMT, Tim Westwood, Rudimental, Jarvis Cocker, Four Tet, Cold War Steve (his first public exhibition anywhere in the world), Jack White, Irvine Welsh, Saint Etienne, Black Midi, Shame, Hip Hop Karaoke (the legendary club’s longterm home) Jeremy Deller, Fat White Family, Doves, Laura Marling, James Dean Bradfield (Manic Street Preachers), Beck, the Avalanches (first UK DJ gig), Michael Kiwanuka, Artwork, Boy Azooga, Super Furry Animals, Baxter Dury, Goat Girl, Sleaford Mods, Hot Chip, The Horrors, Trojan Records, Vampire Weekend, Huw Stephens (who's hosted a monthly night for the last thirteen years), Nabihah Iqbal, the Charlatans, Frank Turner, Aphex Twin (Italo Disco set) and Lily Allen to name a few. 

As well as gigs and club nights, The Social has held regular literary salons with friends from Faber & Faber and Caught by the River and art and photography exhibitions from established names and new talent alike. As far as we can tell, there isn't another venue in London - possibly even Britain - that's staged such a diverse and inspirational list of performers.  

Two decades old, The Social remains one of the very best spaces in the UK to discover new music, fall in love with old music or just lose yourself in. 


The twentieth anniversary should be a point of celebration; not for a quick, tearful goodbye before the wrecking ball arrives. It should usher in the next two decades with a series of parties presenting significant names on the stage from the past, present and future of the bar. And it should cement The Social’s reputation as one of the most important music venues left standing in the West End and the venue that’s successfully launched over ten million hangovers.

Hopefully you feel the same.


We needed to raise the initial £95k as a down payment to get the venue off the market, and to save it from turning into just another bar. Any money over and above that point will help us secure the future of the bar. We're not asking for donations - we'll be offering the best possible, unique and brilliant rewards that won't be available anywhere else. 


The first thing we'd organise after saving The Social would be the twentieth birthday celebrations at Little Portland Street. Key to these will be the 'biggest small festival in the world' - a month of gigs, DJ sets, talks and discussions and exhibitions from a handpicked selection of friends of The Social who’ve performed there over the years. These intimate shows will be captured for a film documenting the rebirth of the bar at twenty years. Following the birthday parties, we have plans to considerably freshen up promotions in The Social. This will see a host of new nights, a series of streamed gigs and the return of some old classic nights rebooted for 2019. 

Alongside promotions in the downstairs area, we would aim to donate a minimum of a day a month to charity. This would involve giving over either (or both) floor to a rotating list of charities to hold events and asking alcohol partners to offer up charity kegs to maximise donations. 

A key aim in moving forward is to increase the variety of draught beer on sale by installing new lines and pushing independent beers/breweries alongside those we already work closely with. In an ideal world, The Social would become something like a permanent beer festival attached to the best spirits bar in the world. 

And finally, if The Social is saved we would quickly look to set up further venues and take the kind of music and arts culture clash we've promoted in Little Portland Street to the rest of London and beyond. 

Basically, wherever anyone wants us, we’ll be there. 

If you’re interested in equity investment to help us finance the future of The Social beyond Little Portland Street, please get in touch directly here.


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

£200 or more

Socialist Roll of Honour

Get your self on the permanent roll of honour (somewhere as yet to be decided) within our four walls. Your name forever associated with the heroic act of saving the bar!

£20 or more

27 of 75 claimed

Social Metal Pint Cups

We've teamed up with the guys from Enviro-Cup and Lagunitas to produce these very special Social pint pots. Made using recycled food grade stainless steel in UK and laser etched with the bird, each one comes with a free pint of Lagunitas when you come and pick it up from the bar. In fact for now these are only available for pick up, so grab one online and pop in and grab it and your free pint before the end of June. Available now!

£100 or more

75 of 250 claimed

Ticket for a special Social 20th birthday bash

250 tickets for a special birthday party with some very special guests in the basement. Cocktails and food on arrival. Big night guaranteed.

£300 or more

0 of 3 claimed

O.Two 'Thou shalt Harsh no Mellow’ Print

O.Two (aka James Carey), one of our favourite artists, has given us a very special limited edition of three . . never seen before as a print. 'Thou shalt Harsh no Mellow’ hand stencilled using acrylic on acid-free, cold pressed Langton A1 watercolour paper. Numbered and signed by the artist.

£500 or more

Honorary Socialist Membership

Level-up your free membership! Pay us a monkey and get free entry to dedicated nights, advance notice on special events, £100 tab and a pretty incredible metal Social badge that only you special members will ever get your hands upon. You will of course also be added to the permanent roll of honour.

£1,150 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Good Life Experience for 4 ppl + bell tent + more!

The good people at the Good Life Experience festival have given us two of these beautiful packages >> 4 x adult weekend tickets (entry from Thursday) plus a four person bell tent, £50 to spend at The Glynne Arms, Hawarden AND a £30 voucher to spend at the Caught by the River bookshop on site as well! The tickets and tent on their own are worth over £1200 . . only two available.

£10,000 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Social party for you and 50 mates

Come and take over the upstairs bar with up to 50 pals and drink all night long. We'll supply the DJs to your taste and make it a proper night to remember.

£20,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Social party for you and 100 mates

Come and take over the basement with up to 100 pals and drink and dance all night long. We'll supply the DJs to your taste and make it a proper night to remember.

£50,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Name the upstairs bar

We all really love the upstairs bar, could it be one the greatest bars ever? We think so. If you're a super Social supporter with a bit of money to spare and you fancy naming the upstairs bar in your honour or someone else's then this is the reward for you. We'll chuck in a 5k tab for you to use in your renamed bar!

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.