Support Your Scene: Hairy Dog launches crowdfunder for improvements

Hairy Dog Derby

The Hairy Dog has launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise money toward vital improvements to the city centre music venue.

Following fitting out and opening a 500 capacity room, The Kennel, in March 2016 and then re-fitting the smaller 80 capacity upstairs stage the venue is now looking to finalise work and refurbish facilities and bar, as well as add air conditioning.

On the crowd funding page the venue, owned by Paul Keenan, describe how £100,000 was spent on creating the larger room, plus an extra £40,000 on fees during a protracted legal battle in order to be granted a licence. Since then the venue has hosted sell out shows, including as part of 2Q Festival and those hosted by independent record label Reckless Yes, and is named as one of the best venues in the UK by artists such as Slaves and Lars Frederiksen of Rancid, but it’s also run many at a loss due in order to bring a variety of touring bands to the city.

The venue is now looking to raise a total of £10,000 through the crowd funding campaign. This is divided into three phases, with £3,000 in the first phase covering internal refurbishment and building renovation. The further phases are at a cost of £4,000 to install air conditioning, and £3,000 for final improvements to stages lighting and sound.

Live music is often a challenging business for small and medium venues, like other small independent businesses, and it’s rare that they are run by people who are a part of the local scene, as well as providing a vital part of it. The Hairy Dog has forged a strong presence in Derby, bringing established artists through on the touring circuit while also championing local and emerging artists. With a strong personality and stronger DIY ethic the risks they and the promoters they work with take on bands in order to provide a varied programme and bring acts to our small city, speaks volumes.

Forming part of the informal ‘creative quarter’ the Hairy Dog is one of the businesses in the Becket Street and Abbey Street area, including Dubrek, Bar One, The Venue, Baby People, and Marleys servicing the music scene and contributing to the regeneration of this part of town. Dubrek Studios were also supported by a crowdfunding campaign last year when flooding to the interior threatened the future of the business. It’s gone on to provide a hub for creativity in the city, as well as bring in underground bands.

There are a number of bundles available in the crowdfunder, all of which include entry to a ‘thank you day festival’ to be held at the venue on completion of the campaign and subsequent work. After launching early evening on Friday (7 July) the venue had already raised more than £100 in its first hours. The campaign runs for Tuesday 8 August and you can donate here. It will only receive the funding if it reaches the full amount needed for the first phase of work.

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