Aid £ 35,000 for the music hall in 22 hours: A south London music venue has been saved from closing its doors after receiving £35,000 in funding in less than 24 hours, which one of the business’s co-founders said was “crazy”.
Kieron Marshall, 34, runs The Sound Lounge with his wife Hannah White, 44.
who founded a folk music venue specializing in live concerts and serving vegetarian food.
The couple, who have been married for eight years, first opened a salon in Tooting in 2016 and moved to Sutton in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Marshall said their business was “one week” away from closing because of outstanding bills, rising energy costs, and the price of buying stock from suppliers.
The couple met with their financial advisers and it was agreed that £35,000 was needed to cover any outstanding costs that could potentially threaten the business with closure.
They launched a crowdfunding on Friday that they thought would take weeks to raise the entire amount, but they did it in just 22 hours.
Mr. Marshall, based in Sutton, told the PA news agency: “We launched it at 4.30 pm and it hit the target by 2 pm the next day, we were shocked.
“When we hit it, I couldn’t believe it – Hannah was crying her eyes out for most of the day.
“People were messaging us and telling us they were addicted to clicking Refresh on the page.
“It just shows how many people wanted it to stay, which was amazing.”
Mr. Marshall added that he and his wife had “never, ever” set out to start crowdfunding, saying the amount they needed was “huge”, but he said the feedback they had received from customers and members of the public had made them feel “very friendly”. possessive”.
“It was crazy to see that level of support,” he said.
We thought it would take six weeks to raise the money and to be honest, we weren’t sure we’d hit our target.
“When you’re so close to giving up or shutting down, having that kind of support from everyone pulls you together and now you have a responsibility.
“The people are behind this and it’s theirs now, so make it happen.”
Mr Marshall said the business had been struggling “since the pandemic” but the rise in energy costs, which saw its monthly electricity bill go “through the roof” from £750 to £3,000, had not helped.
“It was just a big increase in every one of the costs of the business,” he said.
“The food and beverage sales that we relied on to make up for the losses from cultural building were not enough, so we continued to fall behind. “We got to the point where all the costs had gone up.”
Mr Marshall added that the couple knew they were “under-spending” and estimated they would run out of money to keep the business afloat in January.
“We would probably run out of cash as a business by next week as a whole,” he said.
We couldn’t pay all our employees, which is our priority, and our suppliers because they are all small independents.
“I knew that within six weeks we would have to close the doors.”
Thanks to the donations, the couple is now looking to the future of The Sound Lounge and hopes to turn it into a charity after facilitating several projects alongside their main business.
“With the projects we’re doing – some outside of music and around sustainability and social inclusion – we thought if we could break through that hurdle, that should be our first thing,” Mr Marshall said.
“It helps with long-term durability, that’s the goal we want to go with.
“Since we’ve said that, we’ve had people write to us from the charity sector saying they want to help us.”
The couple have added a stretch goal of £45,000 to their Crowdfunder to help them with the costs of turning the business into a charity, and have so far raised more than £42,000.
For more information, visit: crowdfunder.co.uk/p/save-the-sound-lounge