South London grassroots music venue, The Sound Lounge, has been saved from closure after receiving more than £35,000 in donations in 22 hours.
The venue’s co-founder Keiron Marshall said the Sutton venue was a week away from having to close after struggling with outstanding bills, soaring energy costs and the price of purchasing stock from suppliers.
Marshall co-founded the business venue with his wife Hannah White. The couple opened a venue in Tooting in 2016 and relocated to Sutton in 2020. The venue is a carbon-neutral grassroots music venue as well as a plant-based café and restaurant.
“It was just such a huge hike in every single cost in the business,” Marshall told the PA news agency. “The food and drink sales we were relying on to almost offset the losses of putting on culture just weren’t making enough, so we kept falling behind. We got to this point where every cost had gone up.”
The couple met with their financial advisers and it was agreed that £35,000 would be needed to cover any outstanding fees. They launched a Crowdfunder on Friday, thinking it would take weeks to raise the full amount, but they did so in just 22 hours.
The couple said they are now looking to turn the venue into a charitable organisation after facilitating several projects alongside their main business.
The couple have added a stretch target of £45,000 to their Crowdfunder to help them with the costs of turning the business into a charity, raising more than £42,000 so far.
Marshall said, “We thought with the projects that we do – some are outside of music and around sustainability and social inclusion – that if we can just get over this hurdle, this should be our first thing.”