The Social on Little Portland St should be preparing to celebrate its twentieth birthday this year, but instead it’s facing a fight for survival.
The team behind the much-loved independent music venue and clubbing space say they have just two weeks to raise enough money – a princely £95,000 – to fend off the threat of permanent closure.
‘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,’ they write on a crowdfunding page. ‘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.’
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.
The Social’s plight is also part of a much broader problem. Mayor Sadiq Khan is so concerned about the future of grassroots music venues in the capital that he launched a campaign to support them last year. Once these kind of independent venues go, they tend to be gone forever.
Find out more about the ‘Save the Social’ campaign on the crowdfunding page.