Hackney Empire to let fans determine length of fundraising gig through donations

The east London venue is facing financial uncertainty due to funding cuts

London’s Hackney Empire has announced a unique fundraising event.

The venue is currently set to lose a significant portion of funding due to the latest government cuts, and it relies solely on a combination of ticket sales, public funding and donations to stay open. To help the venue, a fundraising event titled Hackney Empire: One More Song will take place in mid-2016.

The gig will be entirely powered by donations from fans in a unique way. Fans will receive tickets to a gig at the venue as a result of their donation. Once there, they can then donate more during the gig to increase the length of the performance. Essentially, the more fans pledge towards the restoration and upkeep of the venue, the longer the gig will go on for. Donations will take place via social media, texting and email during the show.

Although no acts are currently confirmed as playing the event, the venue is hoping to secure performances from musicians with strong ties to east London. Creative agency Tin Man will organise the evening, with all proceeds going towards the venue.

The founder of Tin Man, Mandy Sharp, had this to say about the event: “One More Song is more than just a PR campaign – the success of this event is crucial to the future of Hackney Empire staying open. We wanted to come up with an idea that would celebrate the venue’s musical heritage and pivotal role within the local community but at the same time, it needed fund raising at its core. One More Song ticks all these boxes. We’ve already had some top music acts confirm their support and now we are inviting corporate sponsors and broadcasters to get involved.”

The Empire closed down in 2001 to make way for a £17million refurbishment by Tim Ronalds Architects, and reopened in 2004. It has been a leading venue in east London for both comedy and music for over 100 years. In recent years, artists like The Libertines, FKA Twigs and Jamie T have played gigs at the venue.