DIY Space for London

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On Sunday I went to a meet­ing for DIY Space for London. My friend Natalie is one of the initial organ­isers (and I also already knew a fair few of the other organ­isers), and she told me about it last year, but I was either work­ing very long hours in London, or was abroad for most of the year, so I didn’t really have a chance to get involved. I’m in London for the fore­see­able future and actu­ally have some spare time now, so I volun­teered.

The group is rais­ing money to open a low-cost, co-oper­at­ively run non-profit venue for music, art and other good things in London. In the words of their website:

“We want to ensure as many people as possible are involved in using the space. We’re primar­ily inter­ested in being an open, access­ible and low-cost-or-free place to make and see DIY inde­pend­ent music of all styles in the capit­al. We hope the space can be more than just a great place to engage with bands, films and art, and also include meet­ing and gath­er­ing space for community, campaign­ing and activ­ist groups, a support­ive envir­on­ment for young people look­ing to learn new skills, and a low-cost prac­tice and studio space. We hope it can be a hub for DIY activ­ity and social change work. We want to create a gener­ally good, inspir­ing and product­ive place to be, make and do.”

I ended up volun­teer­ing to help with promotion/​contacts/​design etc. I don’t know about prop­erty, or finance or other big things like that, but I do know a lot of useful and help­ful people from being one of the runners of a large zine fest­iv­al for 4 years.

So far they have raised just over £11, 000, with people hold­ing all sorts of fundrais­ing events, and a lot of bands such as Joanna Grue­some, Shop­ping and Joan of Arc played fundraisers.  Now they are look­ing around for suit­able premises. People with exper­i­ence in things like commer­cial leases, licen­cing, deal­ing with coun­cils, elec­tric­als, plumb­ing etc are partic­u­larly in demand to help out.

For more details, and ways to help and get involved, see the website.

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