Strange Brew is our plan for an independent 330-capacity music and arts venue for Bristol offering live music, exhibitions, club nights and performances with a late-night cafe-bar and record shop.
We have already secured an alcohol licence and planning permission - Now we need your help to raise funds for the essential building works to get it open!
- This is an all-or-nothing campaign - if we don't reach our goal we can't move forward with the venue so any contribution and support you can offer will be hugely appreciated
- We have some great rewards in return for your support - including Strange Brew membership card, Turbo Island designed tshirt and tickets for our launch party (see photos below!)
- This is an independent, grassroots venture. We have 10 years of experience in organising music events in unusual, pop-up spaces and now we want to create something more permanent for a wider audience to enjoy
- 20% of central venues & bars have closed in the last 7 years - Bristol needs more cultural spaces and this is a rare opportunity for us to create a new space in our city!
WHAT WILL STRANGE BREW OFFER
Strange Brew will be a new music and arts venue that we believe is sorely needed in Bristol, offering a fun and welcoming place for groups and individuals to meet and connect, and providing a platform for a diverse range of local and international artists, performers and subcultures. There will be a broad program of events including
- live music including experimental, new wave, jazz, electronic, dub
- exhibitions and installations
- club nights
- film screenings
Aside from the program of events, Strange Brew will be a cafe and a licensed bar offering drinks and food from local suppliers, including hosting Wiper & True beers on tap, providing an independent space in the city centre where you can relax, enjoy a coffee or pint and browse the records for sale.
OUR PLANS FOR THE BUILDING
The building is under a multi-storey car park on Fairfax Street and not constrained by having any residential properties nearby. With The Island, Rough Trade and the Lanes all in close proximity, we feel we will be in good company.
The spacious front room with large windows and a high ceiling will form the heart of the venue with a large cafe/bar, a stage and DJ booth, a seating area and dancefloor, and a record shop. Great sound is a high priority, both for live acts and DJ sets, so we will be installing a high-quality D&B Audio soundsystem in conjuction with Amber Audio, revered by many of Bristol's gig promoters and music venues.
Here is a 3D render to give you an idea of the layout:
And a rendering of a view through the front windows (the colour scheme will likely be a little different):
The rear of the venue has a more ‘basement’ atmosphere with low ceilings and small windows. This will be kept largely as a blank canvas to be used for exhibitions, installations, performances and dance events. The rear of the venue will also house ample gender neutral toilets and a locker area for storing belongings so there’s no need to queue for a cloakroom.
Here's the back room/ performance space as it might appear for a club night:
Strange Brew will have a capacity of 330 across the 2 rooms. It will be an evolving space which will change over time, depending on what events are taking place. There is a lot of potential for creativity! It is easily adaptable to allow for sit-down gigs, on-stage performances or having an open dancefloor. We plan to invite different local artists to create installations or murals in the venue on a regular basis to showcase local talent and keep the interior interesting.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT
We don't believe there are many buildings like this left in the centre and therefore we don't believe there are many opportunities to create new spaces of this kind in Bristol. As many of you will be aware, Bristol’s venues and arts spaces are in decline with a spate of central pubs, bars, clubs and music venues closing in the last 7 years without replacement. Added to the fact that existing venues are frequently coming under threat from residential developments, this poses a real concern for the future of Bristol’s arts and music scene, especially at a time when the city’s population is increasing. We hope that by bringing a new space into being we will be helping to address this decline and at the same time offering an exciting new venue for the city.
WHO WE ARE
For nearly a decade, we have been hosting regular underground music events across Bristol under the name of Dirtytalk. We realised early on that standard club spaces didn't quite work for us and what we were trying to achieve with our events so we were driven to seek out spaces that had greater freedom and options for creating a different experience - this led to us using various locations including warehouses, temporary DIY/ art spaces such as the Motorcycle Showroom, the Bristol Wood Recycling Project and other venues which exist on the fringes.
Over the years we have built up a wonderful crowd who have helped us create a great community. For a long time, we have been looking for a more permanent home where we can create a hub for artists and culture-lovers and offer a far broader range of events and music to a wider audience. Now we have found the perfect place, we just need some help to get it over the line.
WHAT WE HAVE DONE SO FAR
We have already put a lot of money and time into the process by securing an alcohol and entertainment licence allowing us to open Thurs-Sat until 3am, and Sun-Weds until 1am, and have also got planning permission agreed.
We have teamed up with designer, Woody Slucutt (previously part of The Motorcycle Showroom and the designer of Katie & Kim's cafe) to help us create an adaptable, interesting and vibrant space - see his impressions above and in our video!
HOW YOUR FUNDS WILL HELP
We plan to open in Autumn 2019. The next stage is to get stuck into the building work and we need your help to get the venue up to standard.
Having been derelict for 9 years, the place needs a lot of work and the total refurb and start-up costs are £95,000. We are putting in £50,000 ourselves but need help to raise the rest. Your contributions will go towards:
- plumbing for toilets & sinks
- new electrics and lighting
- building a stage, bar and DJ booth
- acoustic treatment
- reconnecting utilities
- furniture, fixtures and fittings
This is an 'all-or-nothing' campaign: the reality is that, if we don’t reach our goal, we will be unable to move forward with opening the venue. If the campaign is not success all pledgers will receive a refund.
We are offering a number of rewards in return for helping us to reach our goal including Strange Brew membership; a lush graphic print from artist Guillaume De Ubeda (aka Atelier Superplus) and a new t-shirt designed by the brilliant Turbo Island!
Whatever form it takes, your support and contributions will be hugely appreciated. You can support the project by:
pledging - however large or small, every bit counts
sharing our Crowdfunder campaign on social media
telling your friends and getting the word out will be invaluable to us.
Let's make this happen!
Thank you for your support
Kerry, Shaun, Leigh & Rob