The Tote closes, starts GoFundMe page to support venue workers

The iconic Collingwood venue is asking for help after coronavirus closures have left its staff with "massively reduced" work

Melbourne pub and self-proclaimed “home of rock” The Tote has launched a GoFundMe page to support its team members amidst venue closures during the recent coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement posted to Instagram, The Tote said it has experienced a “drop in patronage” over the last week as a result of the new coronavirus measures, such as social distancing. This has affected its bar, door and sound staff whose shifts have all been “reduced massively”.

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According to venue manager Curtis Wakeling, the fundraiser is setting its initial goal at $2,200 – providing each of its 11 staff members $200 while they find other work.

“We know we aren’t alone and everyone is feeling this loss, and staff are looking at their options with government assistance and alternative work,” The Tote wrote on its GoFundMe page.

“We are asking our community, our friends, our customers to help get or staff through his period of financial uncertainty. We don’t need a lot and if you are in a position to give I would hope you would give any small amount you can spare to all the bars you value and enjoy.”

The Tote released an additional statement on Facebook, thanking everyone who had supported the institution since its re-opening, 10 years ago.

It’s with the heaviest of hearts that The Tote shuts its doors. The government says we must. It's for the greater…

Posted by The Tote on Sunday, March 22, 2020

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In the meantime, the Collingwood institute is working on a delivery/take out service for its kitchen and bar, including Polly’s Burgers.

The Tote is also selling merch to help cover costs during this time, available now on Sound Merch.

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