Save The Social

by The Social in London, England, United Kingdom

Save The Social

£99,573

raised of £150,000 stretch target

1483

supporters
66% 29 days left
This project will only be funded if at least £95,000 is pledged by April 19th 2019 at 11:59am

We have two weeks to raise enough money to save one of the West End's longest serving and best loved independent music venues from closure.

by The Social in London, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

WE DID IT! BUT THERE'S WORK TO DO

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. 


WHAT'S HAPPENED?

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 is under threat of closure just as it reaches the milestone of its twentieth birthday. Rising rents and an offer to the building’s leaseholder from a cocktail and wine bar chain have put The Social under very serious threat. The bar’s founders need to raise money to buy a controlling share in the venue from the leaseholder in order to keep The Social open. Unless new investment is found in the next 2 weeks then the iconic venue will be forced to close its doors. We're asking you for help.


HOW YOU CAN HELP SAVE THE SOCIAL?

We need your help today. 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 saving The Social. Share the campaign with your friends, at work, on social media and beyond. Together we can do this.

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.”

BELIEVING IN MAGIC SINCE 1999

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. 


20 MORE YEARS?

We had planned to mark the twenty continuous years on Little Portland Street and twenty five years since the original Heavenly Sunday Social club nights (held a stones throw away at the top of Great Portland Street) with a season of truly special gigs and parties and a significant refurb. We sincerely believe The Social’s story shouldn’t stop now for the reason stated above. 

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.

WHAT WE NEED THE MONEY FOR

We need to raise £95k asap as a down payment to get the venue off the market, save it from turning into just another bar and then kick start a second round of private investment so we can take full control of The Social lease and secure its longterm future. 

FUTURE STEPS

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.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£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!

£10 or more

Buy us a pint this time!

Want to help, stick a tenner in and buy us a pint. We won't use it to buy booze, we'll use it to save the bloody place. Promise x

£23 or more

Buy yourself cosmic good fortune

Not sure it really works like that but it's still a good number for the cosmic gamblers out there.

£25 or more

Buy us a round

Do you love us? Then buy us a round. But we won't drink it, promise. Will all go to the Social saving fund.

£30 or more

Socialism T Shirt

A reprint of the original Social t shirt from back in the days of the Albany, white text on dark blue. Perfect for weddings, board meetings, protests and rallies.

£50 or more

100 of 100 claimed

Bag yourself a limited edition Social tshirt

Only 100 of these special tshirts will ever exist, design by the maestro Caio Wheelhouse

£50 or more

114 of 350 claimed

Own a piece of the Pete Fowler exhibition

Own your very own piece of the current Pete Fowler exhibition. Come and take your pick and get it signed at a special party with Pete when the exhibition comes down

£100 or more

3 of 200 claimed

Ticket for re-launch night

Donate £100 and you'll get an invite to our re-launch party with very special live guest breaking in the new stage and PA. Cocktails and food on arrival.

£100 or more

74 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.

£100 or more

5 of 5 claimed

Heavenly vinyl goody bag

Bumper goody bag from Heavenly with LP goodness and a tshirt inside

£100 or more

2 of 2 claimed

Manic Street Preachers London gig tickets

A pair of tickets for each Manic Street Preachers' long sold out Shepherd's Bush Empire shows (17th / 18th May). These gigs see the band perform their biggest selling album to date, This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours. Support from Gwenno.

£200 or more

1 of 1 claimed

A Heavenly Year (compact disco edition)

Every record released on the perpetually inspiring Heavenly Recordings for a year on CD. Call it a subscription, call it a direct in road to the home of the hits. Each release will wing it's way to your front door and the lovely people from the label will probably bung bits they find in the office in too. Believe in magic.

£250 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Rough Trade Books the entire pamphlet collection

Every beautiful pamphlet published through Rough Trade Books - by everyone from Jarvis Cocker to Joe Dunthorne.

£300 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Faber Social Library

Faber Social (our long term literary salon) help you start your own library with a massive box of their incredible books, including limited edition versions and rare titles.

£300 or more

1 of 1 claimed

A Heavenly Year (vinyl edition) £20 Reward

Every record released on the perpetually inspiring Heavenly Recordings for a year on vinyl. Call it a subscription, call it a direct in road to the home of the hits. Each release will wing it's way to your front door and the lovely people from the label will probably bung bits they find in the office in too. Believe in magic.

£300 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Matt Sewell original watercolour painting

A beautiful watercolour original from one of our favourite artists in the world, Matt Sewell. The A3 sized piece is called 'Murmuration of starlings' from Matt's book 'A Charm Of Goldfinches'. Be quick on this one.

£300 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Faber Social Library (a second branch)

Our very good friends at Faber Social (the bar's longterm literary salon) help you start your own library with a massive box of their incredible books, including limited edition versions and rare titles. The first one sold out in minutes, they've got a second set of books ready to go to one lucky home.

£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.

£750 or more

1 of 1 claimed

A guitar from Nicky Wire (Manic Street Preachers)

Beautifully customized acoustic guitar from Nicky Wire that's been used as to practise and write when on the road. It's seen active service and has been used inside hotel rooms across Europe, Japan and the States and is signed by the entire band. This is one of a kind.

£1,000 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Cold War Steve artist proof + signed book + badges

Signed artist's proof of the now sold out, evergreen Cold War Steve print 'Ship of Tw*ts'. Added to that, a signed copy of his bestselling book, The Festival of Brexit and a set long since gone badges from CWS' first ever public exhibition, A Brief History of the World 1953 - 2018 (held at The Social in the autumn of 2018).

£1,000 or more

4 of 4 claimed

Honorary Socialist Membership + Booth dedication

4 booths up for grabs. Your name and dedication on the wall. As well as owning a piece of the bar (sort of) you'll be a Honorary Social Member, get free entry to dedicated nights, advance notice on special events, £100 tab to use whenever you want and a pretty incredible Social badge that only you special members will ever get. And added to the roll of honour of course!

£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!