girl wielding a drill directs me an occupied office building across the massive forecourt, of the Down Lane Studios depot. There’s an air of the experimental, of industry, but there are no contractor vehicles, or uniforms.
When I meet Stuart Glen, it is the back of his head I see first – which is notable only because it is dwarfed by the scale of the construction around him. He is visible – just – behind what will be the bar in The Cause, a brand new nightclub in Ashley Road that opens tonight (Fri 13th April), close to Tottenham Hale station.
The venue’s interior is still being crafted today, in part with materials recycled from the existing buildings (a series of disused warehouses on an industrial estate that once hosted tyre fitters and tool hire). The same metal tread plates that form part of the bar can be seen patched on to other yet-to-be defined structures.
Most impressive of these is the completed DJ booth: central to the space, it is part-cage, part-stage and wouldn’t seem out of place in a 1990s Downtown New York garage club.
“We’ve got a custom-built Core sound-system, a 5am licence and 400 people capacity,” beams Stuart, as he begins a guided tour of the club. Down Lane Studios is now a hub of creative and community businesses, and a crowd-funded nightclub concept fits the bill perfectly.
Glen, together with co-founder Eugene Wild have harnessed this potential to create a generous membership scheme. The scheme aims to raise £25k annually for three causes – Mind in Haringey; TheCALMzone and Help Musicians UK.
“All three charities are focused on improving mental health, a growing concern in the music industry,” Stuart says. “This is often due to the nomadic, frenetic, sleep-disrupting lifestyle that musicians and DJs endure to fulfill their passion. We feel it’s right to be committed to putting something back to an industry in which we’ve both worked for years.”
Crowdfunded membership that affords access to the backroom members’ bar, early-bird tickets, discounted (and some free) drinks, and no doubt other exclusives to lift the soul, always while benefiting the mental health of those who need support.
“What is most exciting for me about this endeavour is the DIY-ness of it,” say Glen, something that is clear from the piles of plywood, the noise of sawing, and people atop scaffold as we continue to wander.
With nightlife in London finally experiencing the creation, rather than loss, of exciting custom-built event spaces, The Cause is real cause for cultural optimism, too. Tonight’s launch event features a secret Chicago house music legend, alongside the likes of Tusk Wax and modern acid house outfit Pothuman.
The aim is to raise £30,000 via IndieGoGo to ensure that the venture is completed in good time and continues to raise funds to support the one in four people in the UK who are suffering from mental health challenges.
The party itself is FREE to all those who sign-up: Support The Cause here.
Get there early. Crowdfund. This is a cause worth celebrating.