London's Social fights for future, Oxford's Cellar closes

London's Social fights for future, Oxford's Cellar closes

London's The Social faces closure unless it raises £95,000 in the next two weeks, the venue's founders have warned. 

The likes of Adele, The Chemical Brothers, Wolf Alice, Florence + The Machine and Bon Iver are among acts to play the West End venue, which celebrates its 20th birthday this year, but it now faces a battle to stay in business.

A crowdfunding appeal has been launched to enable founders to buy a controlling stake from the leaseholder and has already raised in excess of £10,000. 

"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," says the Save The Social crowdfunder page. "Unless new investment is found in the next two weeks then the iconic venue will be forced to close its doors.

"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 long-term future."

The news comes in the wake of Oxford's The Cellar closing its doors for the final time on Monday.

"After crunching the numbers a thousand times over, the Hopkins family, who have run the independent music venue, for nearly 40 years, have sadly come to conclusion that they cannot continue," said a statement on its Facebook page.

"After months of negotiations, we would have loved to have been able to take the landlord's final rent offer, but it came too late. What’s more, even with a vaguely do-able rent agreed, there were no guarantees on the time frame of the building work, which required access to the shop above and various structural considerations. Essentially, the whole process took far longer than we were expecting, and we simply could not keep operating under these conditions."

The 150-capacity basement club had previously fought off a 2017 bid to turn it into a retail space and operators say they will now return the £92,000 raised via a crowdfunding appeal to help safeguard its future.

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