Lewisham’s first ever community-owned live music venue: led by three remarkable young women who have spearheaded the massive campaign for their community (Lenny Watson, Sophie Farrell, Lottie Pendlebury [Goat Girl]), the venue will be self-titled ‘Sister Midnight’, and located in Catford Centre taking roots in the derelict former working men’s club, The Brookdale Club.
This news comes following Sister Midnight’s previous campaign to create Lewisham’s first community-owned music venue back in 2021 when they were on a mission to buy the freehold of a disused local pub, the Ravensbourne Arms. Despite raising £260K through community investment and donations and garnering 800+ investors, the owners of the Ravensbourne Arms were unwilling to sell for a fair price, therefore Sister Midnight began sculpting a new plan that carefully acknowledged the current tumultuous economic environment.
In light of this, Sister Midnight has worked to secure a ‘meanwhile space’, of which 99%% of the original campaign contributors were keen to continue their support and chose to commit their investment to the new proposals.
Working alongside the Lewisham Council and with support from London’s Night Czar and City Hall’s Culture and Communities Spaces at Risk team, Sister Midnight finally found the perfect site.
London’s Night Czar, Amy Lamé, said:
“I’m absolutely thrilled that Sister Midnight has secured a location to create Lewisham’s first community-owned live music venue. I am proud that the Mayor’s team has worked alongside these remarkable women to drive forward their vision and I will continue to support them in creating this exciting new venue as we build a better London for everyone.”
Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan, said:
“I’m delighted we’ve helped Sister Midnight to secure this space and establish Lewisham’s first-ever community-owned live music venue – a fantastic legacy for our year as London Borough of Culture 2022. This will provide a valuable meanwhile use for the building which can be enjoyed by the community, support our local arts and music scene, and help grow our nighttime economy. I hope this will serve as an important stepping stone towards a permanent home for Sister Midnight.”
ABOUT THE NEW MUSIC VENUE, SISTER MIDNIGHT:
Sister Midnight, the community-owned music venue, will be located at the former working men’s club – The Brookdale Club, in Catford Centre, London, SE6 4JY.
Sister Midnight’s new site offers-
- its own private outdoor yard
- a 250 capacity grassroots live music venue
- a community cafe space
- space for rehearsal/recording/artist studios on the upper floors
The site will allow all of the social benefits that a community music venue can offer –
- multidisciplinary music & arts programming that champions local talent
- affordable rehearsal & studio space
- community events
- a community cafe stocked with local produce; from beer to baked goods
Plus – Sister Midnight will still be a democratically run, community-owned business, giving their community a voice and a say in how things will be done. Profit will be reinvested into the venue, forever, because Community Music Venues are run for and by locals with established democratic processes for governance. With a Community Music Venue, the few don’t get richer, we all do – culturally, socially, and communally.