by Mabel Suen
Last month, RFT Music took an in-depth look at a conflict arising between residents and club owners in the Grove. The story concerns the Ready Room (4195 Manchester Avenue; 314-833-3929) and its smaller sister venue, the Demo (4191 Manchester Avenue), a 200-capacity space that closed its doors in the midst of a liquor license application process owing to neighborhood noise complaints. On August 7 the Demo launched an Indiegogo campaign to help replenish its subsequently depleted funds.
"You know the story by now, and we've nearly been shut down for an entire quarter because of it," said the Demo's proprietors in a recent Facebook post. "Now we're asking you to help us weather the storm."
According to the campaign rundown, because the Demo has collected the necessary signatures for its liquor license, an official hearing with the excise commissioner has been set for August 13. However, the protest petition will delay the hearing for 30 days, putting the club out of business for a total of at least three months.
More text from the Indiegogo project follows:
Simply put, we are out of money. We underwent a massive move with a costly buildout. We went dark for two weeks to do that. Then we got open for barely a month, and have been shut down since. All this time, we have had our normal expenses accruing, but we've also had attorney's bills piling up, and we have had to take major steps to further soundproof the venue. And all of this with zero revenue. We had to lay off several people, but some have stayed on. And they have been working their asses off for little to no pay.
Since we are still so far away from the end of all of this, we see no other option but to turn to you, our fans, family, and friends. We have debts piling up, a lot of them to our loyal employees, and a lot of them to our very patient landlords. And we have to do something to resolve this now. Not 45 days from now. Because frankly, our employees won't make it another 45 days. And without them, neither will we.
As of early Monday evening -- only five days into its fifteen-day campaign -- the Demo has raised more than $3,000 of its $10,000 goal. The funds generated will be used to pay the staff, rent and part of the cost of additional soundproofing for the space. Any additional funds generated past the goal will go toward more soundproofing, attorneys' fees and arrears in rent.
Incentives for donating include tickets to upcoming Demo shows, drinks, T-shirts and more. For more information, check out the Demo's Indiegogo campaign page.
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