After a devastating twelve months for live music, Sydney’s much loved “Home of the Heavy” Crowbar is calling on its community of live and heavy music supporters to keep the venue alive. The Crowfunder campaign has just launched, giving punters a chance to get their mitts on some pretty epic ‘money can’t buy’ items.
A message from Crowbar:
“Crowbar Sydney needs your help! After 12 months of lockdowns and restrictions, Crowbar needs to call on its community of supporters for help to survive. Live music venues around the country are closing down or just holding on by a thread. We are all battling negotiations with landlords, restrictions and reduced income, facing the end of JobKeeper and struggling to pay ongoing fixed costs and debt that keeps piling up. As one of the first industries to close and the last to open, we’ve been hoping that State and Federal Governments might come to our aid, but we’re no longer in a position to patiently wait. And so, we need your help. Without it, we face making the gut wrenching decision of having to stop the music and close our doors permanently. We’re asking our friends, our fans, our families, and everyone we know to help keep Crowbar alive by donating to our CrowFunder campaign.
In March 2020 COVID-19 restrictions forced us to close our doors and stand down staff while we cancelled months of shows and events. We spoke to our landlords regarding rent and came to some arrangements, and are continuing to negotiate with them. We managed to trade at 1-3% of regular turnover with takeaway sales for the next few months until we were able to open the bar again for a much smaller crowd in mid June. We were eventually able to put on shows again in late August, returning to 20-30% of trade, dropping from 28,441 ticketed attendees in 2019 to just 8,336 in 2020. With restrictions slowly easing we are now returning to 30-40% of trade.
We have spoken with Ministers, Parliament, MusicNSW, the Australian Hotels Association, APRA and media. We have completed surveys and submitted our gravely reduced figures for turnover and attendance. We have carried on as best we can, working within government restrictions and operating at severely reduced capacities. We have taken loans to keep our staff paid and our doors open, in the hope that the NSW government would step up to help live music venues with something more to survive and put towards operational and fixed business costs like rent, insurance and utilities – something like the Victorian Live Music Venues Program. The grants we have been eligible for, like Live Music Australia, can only be used towards artist fees and venue improvements, which is helpful, but leaves us in a tenuous position with our operational costs when artists and venue capacities are controlled by restrictions and border closures.
Crowbar is an independent, family operated business, built on 9 years of blood, sweat and tears, and 20 years experience in the music industry. Supporting live music in Australia and nurturing our once thriving music scene has stood at the forefront of everything we do, and despite this massive hurdle of COVID-19 recovery, we aren’t ready to end the good fight just yet. We are overwhelmed by the tremendous support from our friends, bands and industry colleagues who have donated some amazing prizes and rewards for this crowdfunding campaign.
If we are successful in reaching our target we have a strong hope of recovering through this pandemic to continue putting on the best shows, parties and good times.”
- Lindsay McDougall’s first Frenzal Rhomb guitar
- Test pressings from Cooking Vinyl for The Bronx, Luca Brasi, The Chats, Modern Baseball, Ceres and heaps more thanks to Cooking Vinyl Australia
- A limited Mindsnare ‘The Death’ skateboard and ’Credulity’ test pressing
- A signed Simple Plan drum skin from Oztix
- A stage backdrop and test pressing from The Amity Affliction
- Crowbar Brisbane’s infamous inverted neon cross
- A keg party at your house thanks to Pabst Blue Ribbon
- A MEGA merch pack from 24Hundred and Unified
Other rewards include gold records, limited edition skateboards, drum and guitar lessons from some of your favourite bands and loads more signed memorabilia, with new items being added each week.
Friends of Crowbar, Blackcraft Cult also have a collaboration benefit range up at blackcraftcult.com/collections/collaborations
Crowbar hopes to raise $200,000 in the next 30 days to help keep the venue alive. To donate or join the auction visit crowbarsyd.com/crowfunder.