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Brighton's Blind Tiger Club asking punters to save it from closure
A popular live music venue facing closure is asking punters to help save it.
The Blind Tiger Club in Grand Parade, Brighton, needs 2,014 people to sign up to become members by February next year – paying £5 a month – or it could close.
The club needs to revamp its toilets, install a cloakroom and make a host of other minor improvements and director Phil Lakka, 32, is hoping its loyal fans will swoop in and rescue them from having to shut the doors.
He said: “We’re very confident.
“It’s a case of us seeing a problem looming on the horizon for later in 2014 and wanting to do something about it now, while we do have time.
“We’re just finishing programming our season of events up until the end of April.
“If we fail in our mission to evolve the business into a stable social enterprise, run by and for its membership, then we’ll know in February, but be making arrangements for a sale later in spring at the earliest.”
Members pay monthly, enjoy immediate benefits of discounts, loyalty bonuses and a say in how the business is run and they can cancel with a month’s notice.
If the club closes 30 people face losing their jobs.
Mr Lakka added: “If a chain comes in and hoovers up prof- its from Brighton to spend elsewhere that will suck much needed resources out of the local area – as already happens with many chain businesses on our high streets.
“So, although on a very small and localised scale, we think it would be a cultural and economic disaster.”
The Freebutt, The Gloucester and The Pressure Point are all small Brighton venues that have disappeared recently and Mr Lakka said he is not prepared to let his club suffer the same fate.
He said: “What’s different about our approach is that we’re being very public about our situation and setting out a possible route for lots of people to save it with a little contribution each, rather than doing backroom deals with rich men.
“We need variety, we need experimentation and we need lots of grassroots projects to have spaces and networks to germinate.
“New bands and musicians, and performers of all types need small stages. What’s better training for real artists – the experience of The Beatles gigging in Hamburg for years, or the soap opera of an X Factor bootcamp?”
For more information or to sign up as a member visit www.blindtigerclub.com.
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