1904 London music venue survival hangs in the balance


Bush Hall auditorium interior (LB Hammersmith & Fulham)

A second world war soup kitchen, former dance hall and current music venue has seen £30,000 of crowd funding to save it having been thrown into financial problems due to Covid-19.

London's ornate Bush Hall built in 1904 which has been a rehearsal room for The Who and Cliff Richard has received a surge of support from fans of the music venue in Shepherd's Bush. The money raised has been vital for short-term survival but with no firm date for live music to restart means future uncertainty.

The aim has been to preserve not only the heritage of the building which has had many uses as a snooker hall and bingo club as well as a stage hosting Amy Winehouse, Kings of Leon and Adele, but as a vital part of the community. While not everyone might attend the music gigs, its proximity to the local market creates interest for the mixed-use district which is also home to the Bush Theatre (which is now based in in the historic Passmore Edwards library).

Bush Hall has joined forces with the Music Venue Trust to lobby for help in keeping 500 UK performing spaces alive. Musician Mike Batt, who had been due to play at the venue in May, performed instead via Facebook, with fans urged to contribute to the survival campaign.

One local supporter, John Horton, founder of local independent estate agent, Horton and Garton in Hammersmith, has booked a 50-person party in the private bar and terrace once the venue re-opens:

'Bush Hall is a treasured community venue with a long and storied history in Shepherds Bush...I just couldn't stand to see it disappear and for west London to lose another venue.'

The importance of cultural infrastructure was highlighted at our forum at City Hall, London, last year where Mayor of London's ambassador,

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