Call for community support as Margate’s Elsewhere music venue faces threat of closure

Where Else? is in The Centre in Margate

A call for the community to support Margate music venue Elsewhere is being made as the business faces the threat of closure.

Elsewhere was opened four years ago by owner Alex Barron of Monkey Boy Records in partnership with Sammy Clarke, of Arts Cool, and Ciaran Cliffe, previously from Smugglers Records,. The arts bar and music venue was one of the first businesses to help revive The Centre and encourage others to move in.

But now, after surviving the challenges brought by the covid pandemic, the venue could shut due to the impact of the cost of living crisis.

Elsewhere launch in 2018 Photo Shannen Lythgoe

A call for supporters to join a fundraising launch at Elsewhere tomorrow (October 8) has now been made.

In a social media post on the Elsewhere page it says: “To friends and supporters of Elsewhere, it brings us deep and profound sadness to be writing this; But our beloved grassroots music venue and community arts space is currently facing a severe threat of permanent closure following successive months of diminishing advance ticket and bar sales since April.

“These tenuous circumstances for our culture and livelihoods have arisen and are owing to what has been witnessed as a downturn in event attendances; a result of the cost of living crisis that has impacted everybody’s spending decisions as we all very understandably choose between buying that gig ticket, record or drink at the bar or keeping on top of our electricity bills – ours have tripled since the beginning of April of this year!

Elsewhere Photo Shannen Lythgoe

“Our last night of trading, whilst we spend the next few weeks campaigning and fighting to save our venue, will be this Saturday 8th October.

“We would like to invite everybody, old friends and new friends alike to meet us outside of the venue at 7pm for a supporters photo; a snapshot of the community in all of its might and resilience that will spark us off as we set about trying to save Elsewhere and then building it a further, sustainable future.”

The crowdfunder aimed at saving Elsewhere will also be launched tomorrow night.

40 Comments

  1. This lovely venue helped us out a great deal when we (SONIK – Save Our NHS in Kent) were fundraising for our court case to stop the closure of the QEQM stroke unit. They are lovely people and a genuinely community-centred venue. I hope everyone will pull together and make sure they can stay open.

    • Perhaps they need to expand the type of music performed there (Folk nights? 70s nights?). Playing music aimed at exclusively young (OK, middle-aged in your case) and arty people is fine, except that they tend to not have much money.

      • Elsewhere and Music hall,Ramsgate are aiming more at an indie market so I can’t see them going in the direction that you’re suggesting .
        Another market that they might ought consider is the one that Booking Hall at Dover are succeeding in is having decent tribute acts of big artists , they do that alongside Rock concerts of established bands and other name bands like Turin Brakes .

  2. The irony of asking for money in a cost-of-living crisis because your business is in trouble because of a cost-of-living crisis. All these art gallery’s and other arty nonsense are fine when the bubbles are frothing but when the talcum powder is sprinkled the bubbles burst.

    • What are you talking about? Given what you’ve said, I’m going to assume you place the growth of economy above all all else.

      Elsewhere is a venue that works hard to support and maintain the local grassroots music scene. It would be a great loss if it were to close.

      • Is it a venue provided out of goodness by the owners or a business? If the latter then it needs to find a business model that works. My partner and I went in there a couple of times and found it very “cliquey” certainly didn’t feel welcome, never bothered giving it a third go. Fingers crossed they find a way to keep going and their clientelle support them.

        • I only used the record shop, but there wasn’t even an acknowledgement of my presence (such as a “Hello”), let alone an offer of assistance. It was exactly the same the one and only time I ventured into the Margate Bookshop. So rude!

          • Our experience was similar, we were obviously not the target demographic ( being longterm thanet residents ,we were probably not deemed worthy) ignored at the bar and pretty much had an exclusion zone round us. A very odd experience.

        • All of these type of new bars and cafes in the area are quite cliquey. They think they are the most welcoming type of people, but are quite the opposite. I like to visit them once or twice, but never really wanna go back

      • I totally agree with you Tim. It wasn’t long ago that Self Esteem ( a guest on next weeks Graham Norton show ) played at Elsewhere .
        Now that her career is “on the up” maybe she could do a return gig to help the venue out ?

  3. It is not a venue I’m ever likely to visit (just once in the record shop was more than enough) and I certainly won’t be contributing financially… BUT, I hope this survives. Live music is important (both for musicians and audiences), and far too many live venues have disappeared.

  4. I love this venue and will be there to support. It is one of the few places in Thanet that has a decent, safe and friendly vibe at night. Wish you the very best!!

  5. The SONiK – Save Our NHS in Kent – fundraiser – Charlie Don’t Surf gig at Elsewhere was one of the best music events I’ve ever been to – also hung out at Elsewhere just drinking with mates – always had a fantastic time & really enjoyed myself – I’d be very sorry indeed if Elsewhere was to close because the economy’s been destroyed – they did brilliantly to survive lockdown/the pandemic, which destroyed so many businesses in the UK – the cost of living crisis, a self inflicted consequence of an atrociously run economy, totally unnecessary austerity & the economic suicide AKA BREXIT need addressing, before every high street nationwide looks like a complete dogs dinner… Fingers crossed Elsewhere & other local businesses survive.

    • Oh well, then let’s continue with quantitative easing to pump monopoly money into the economy to support an economy based on mickey mouse economics, it was all bound to fall apart eventually, that time has come. Doesn’t bode well for margate , a disney land addiction to the creative industries is hardly likely to survive a dose of “value for money reality”.

  6. Surely it’s no different to any other leisure based business.

    If it has enough people going thought the doors it will survive.

    All of us business and homes are going to struggle due to the cost of living crisis. Seems unfair to focus on just one business.

  7. I think at my age I’m no longer the target demographic for Elsewhere.
    I’ve never had anything but a good time and friendly service there. I expect those people who’ve felt there was a clique jyst can’t accept that their pervy looks at younger women and “I know best” attitudes aren’t well received by the other customers.

    I see the usual philistine views of “all art is rubbish unless it makes money” carry on bashing the Margate art scene. Elsewhere is certainly NOT artsy in the sense they imagine. It’s a good venue but needs some re-organisation.

    It reminds me very much of The Afterdark club in Reading whuch was an alternative music venue which hosted some up and coming bands who became huge, including Bad Manners and Blur.
    They charged a minimal entrance fee (£2 after 9pm I think) and always had special offers on drinks. A can of Red Stripe was a quid. This was of course in the 90s but it was still cheaper than anywhere else in town.
    Sadly it got closed down recently because of noise complaints.

    • There were certainly no “pervy looks” from me when I visited the record shop with my better half, but even if there was, the person of indeterminate gender at the counter wouldn’t have noticed as they didn’t bother looking up. Perhaps I too need to go for the Giant Haystacks look?

      • Peter, to be honest, if I worked in a record shop, I wouldn’t bother to look up if you came in. I’d be able to smell your contempt and arrogance.

        The exclusion of small minded, arrogant biggots with delusions of grandeur, coming in just to sneer and whine is exactly what appeals to me at the venues where YOU get ignored.

  8. Any business that promoted live music will only survive if it gives the public what it wants. A good number of pubs in Broadstairs and Ramsgate attract good business every week through booking bands that appeal to a variety of tastes.
    By being a little bit insular in terms being perhaps ‘a bit arty’ is, in my opinion, not a way to survive in business.
    Good luck though!!

  9. It’s very interesting to see how utterly narrow minded people are.
    Performing on what could well at Elsewhere last night was the fantastic Naima Bock. You couldn’t have asked for a more folky act. The audience, paying £10 a ticket would have filled most pubs (with their generic ‘live band’ playing bland favourites like Yellow, Mustang Sally and the idiots favourite, Wonderwall) four times over.

    Add to that the number of wonderful people upstairs where there was a fantastic free DJ set playing brilliant house music. Dancing, drinking, laughing. A superb atmosphere compared to what the culturally insular voices here think are successful pubs, with landlords piling up debts to keep their pubs running, in the pretence that they have a successful business model.

    £5000 have been raised through Crowd Funder donations, with 19 days left to go.
    Fortunately, the open minded people who patronise venues like Elsewhere are happy to chip in, in order to keep alternative music venues alive.

    Whilst many people like chicken soup, a lot like other flavours too. Sadly, there are people, like the closed minded ones commenting here, who would be quite happy if there was only one flavour of soup, after all, chicken is the most popular, why waste effort on anything different? Populism at it’s absolute worst.

    • Not sure about being narrow minded. If enough people want to pay to see bands etc. that the venue book that is fine. However, if the numbers attending do not make the business viable, then decisions have to be made and options explored.
      Can’t just beg for survival 😐

    • If people are happy to ‘chip in’ then there is no problem. Just don’t expect everyone to ‘chip in’.
      I prefer to spend my spare cash on watching bands that play the kind of music that I like, in a variety of venues that cater for my tastes including food and drink!!😊🍷

      • Nobody would expect someone like you to “chip in” for anything. You just keep eating your bland food, in a bland pub, serving bland beer and playing bland music.

    • I don’t know what “house” music is, and the only “Yellow” I know is Christie’s classic 1970 hit ‘Yellow River’ (or do you mean Donovan’s ‘Mellow Yellow’?).

      Sorry, I’m not into the new fangled stuff from the past 45 years or so.

      • Is Dave Clark of the Dave Clark Five the same Dave Clarke who produced the seminal house music records, Red 1, Red 2 and (rather predictably) Red 3?
        If so, is it just a coincidence that The Dave Clarke Five DID produce Red Balloon?

  10. Peter, from an ‘author’ who can’t get a publisher to touch the error ridden (according to the few reviews he’s received) lists he’s collated from other peoples’ work, that’s means utterly nothing to me.

    I can guarantee I know more about your field of Googled expertise than you know about anything else.

    • “Few reviews”? There are more than 60 published magazine reviews (all positive) on my site (check ’em out), and I’ve done radio interviews for countries that include USA and Australian (on youtube, check ’em out). I also got exclusive interviews with over 100 people for my two-part ‘Top Of The Pops’ volumes (and over 120 for a book I’m currently working on, due out in November)… What have you achieved, apart from not shaving and getting fat? Feel free to post links. : )

Comments are closed.