Help save one of London’s oldest independent venues with The Clapham Grand’s crowdfunding appeal.
With a return to concert halls, restaurants, and club nights still a long way off, London venues are looking at dwindling budgets and fretting about how to stay afloat. The coronavirus pandemic is hitting businesses hard, and sadly, that includes one of the most historic venues south of the river: The Clapham Grand. (Featured image: @thegrandclapham)
Having stood proudly on St John’s Hill for 120 years, everyone from Charlie Chaplin to The Vengaboys has performed at The Grand. It’s earned itself a worthy slice of London history, with Morecambe & Wise delivering their first ever live performance there, and acts as disparate as Oasis and RuPaul’s Drag Race stars welcoming the crowds in more recent times.
Sadly, The Clapham Grand is currently facing its greatest challenge yet, as their revenue has completely dried up, even as they continue to pay rent. Nearly 52,000 people poured into the venue in the three months prior to the coronavirus outbreak, joining the Grand’s array of film nights, drag shows, bingo extravaganzas, and lovably out-there events, such as last year’s wonderfully ludicrous WAGatha Christie party.
However, not a single paying customer has been able to visit since late March, and the resulting shortfall is biting hard. Indeed, The Clapham Grand’s greatest strength in normal times is currently proving its greatest weakness: as a proud independent venue, there’s no higher financial power for them to fall back on at this time. With staff jobs and the very future of the venue at risk, they’re relying on the kindness of Londoners to help save The Grand, by donating to their crowdfunding campaign.
The goal is to raise £50,000 to safeguard the future of this much-loved spot, and since they recognise that everyone is going through tough times right now, The Grand will be rewarding your generous donation with a whole range of benefits upon reopening. They range from high fives, hugs, and a free drink for a £10 donation, right up to a £500 patron package, which nets you free entry to all shows for a year, a place on their Wall of Fame, a dedication on their website, and high fives every time you visit (because the joy of a welcoming high five is unlimited). Oh, and if you’ve got £20,000 lying around, you can literally own the dancefloor – by paying for the repair of their light-up dancefloor, you’ll be granted with free entry to throw out shapes upon it, every Saturday until the end of time.
With The Grand being an important part of the local community, they’re also using the crowdfunding drive to give back as part of their #TheGrandCommunity appeal. If you pledge £25, you’ll be rewarded with a special The Grand x NHS t-shirt, which raises proceeds for four vital charities: the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal, KLSettlement (who run community projects in Battersea), the Battersea Children’s Zoo, and Wandsworth Oasis, who raise funds for people living with HIV.
As The Grand note, they’ve survived two world wars, multiple recessions, a decade of closure, and even the last global pandemic back in 1918 – so we’re confident they’ll make it through this one too. All they need is a little help from you, so if you’re able to, please drop them a donation here!
Also published on Medium.