Keep The Loft Independent sign now

It has recently been announced that Mitchell & Butler, current lease holders of The Graduate, Cambridge, have accepted an offer from London based music promoter and pub chain Barfly. The offer, which would include purchase of the existing lease, has left the future of The Loft in doubt.

The announcement, which came without any consultation or discussion with Acoustic Stage, could mean yet another blow to Cambridges live music scene.

Acoustic Stages Jo Tomkins said For the last six months, a team of dedicated volunteers have worked 6 nights a week to bring live music to Cambridges door step.

We are proud of what we have achieved in so little time. The Loft is now known world wide and many bands and artists regularly comment on the friendly, professional and welcoming venue.

The interest from Barfly has come only due the hard work that has already been put into by people behind the successful venue. Each and every one has put in time, money and effort to try to create a warm and friendly venue, showcasing the best new talent, not only from Cambridge, but from over the world and succeeded.

Proof of their success and popularity among the music world is that 95\% of artists want to be booked to play the Loft again instantly with a growing number of people returning every week to see and hear something new, proving that unpretentious, independent venues can work.

Tomkins continued, The venues reputation is one of being run with the sole purpose of supporting unsigned bands and artists from all over the world, putting quality of music above financial gains. This, coupled with the obvious passion and shear determination the team have, has earned The Loft incredible support from artists and music lovers alike.

If a large corporation such as Barfly come in to the city then not only will the Loft lose its independence but other small venues and independent promoters within the city will potentially suffer as a consequence.

Cambridge is not short of its choice in music venues. Should the deal succeed, other venues may be priced out of booking up and coming bands. This could then lead to a lack of choice and music diversity that music goers have come to cherish in Cambridge, a place that is supported by an incredible pro-active and talented music community.

Roy Tomkins of Acoustic Stage added It may be too late to change a decision to sell The Graduate by Mitchell & Butler or a decision to purchase it by Barfly. However, if both companies learn the strength of emotion and support that is already in place to keep The Loft independent then we may just get them at the very least to stop and think for a moment.

Those who are in support of keeping the unique venue independent and artist orientated are encouraged to sign the petition.

Roy added, Even if you havent played at or been to the Loft yet, but believe that music should be kept out of the grips of the large money grabbing companies then please sign our petition.

It is our aim, with the help of this petition, to keep The Loft in Cambridge an independent venue.


Acoustic Stage

Acoustic Stage was created in 2004 with the aim to assist talented yet unsigned bands and artists to be heard by as many people as possible whilst offering them support, encouragement and assistance along the way. The founder members all come from a background in playing music with a combined gigging experience of over 50yrs.

The ethos behind Acoustic Stage is simple yet effective, not subscribing to the current music industry but championing DIY music projects, from self made albums to home studios we actively seek out and encourage Artists who want to make their own way.

The Acoustic Stage team now consists of over 12 volunteers with skills in web design, marketing & promotion, sound engineering, lighting and venue management.
This small organisation began life with one simple Open Mic night. Within 1year it had grown into a promotions company putting on events at 6 different venues, running a stage at the largest free world music festival in the UK (Rhythms of the World, attracting over 44,000 people), and totally responsible for the production and programming of the largest LGBT Pride event in the East of England, PINK.

The Loft

At the beginning of 2006, Acoustic Stage took the bold move to set up and run its own dedicated full time music venue, The Loft in Cambridge. The Loft was previously a disused function room above The Graduate pub, by January 2006 a PA system was purchased and put in place and by April a 24 x 12 stage was built, which can be claimed to be the third largest permanent live music stage in Cambridge, only behind the Corn Exchange and Junction. The team are personally responsible for every fine detail that has gone into the room, working tirelessly to create the best live music venue they possibly could, from a musician and gig goers perspective.

Channelfly / Barfly

Channelfly Group is one of the UK's leading independent music businesses, with interests in live music venues, artist management, producer management, recording and publishing. The Channelfly Group includes the Barfly chain of live venues; SuperVision, an artist management company, SBM, a record-producer management business, Animal Noise, a recording company and The Fly, one of the UKs widest distributed music magazines. Channelfly plc is the holding company of the Channelfly Group.

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Goal reached !
1000 / 1000

Latest Signatures

  • 06 February 20161000. Nothing Mendez
    I support this petition
  • 29 January 2016999. Alistair M
    I support this petition
  • 21 January 2016998. Dave Arellano
    save the loft!
  • 20 January 2016997. Virginie L
    For a venue run by human beings for the love of music & musicians rather than by money & power grabbing machines
  • 19 January 2016996. Billy P
    I support this petition
  • 05 January 2016995. James S
    Barfly is great at what it does, but when there's one in every city it's gonna be harder for experimental/alternative sounds to be heard. Maybe leave this venue in peace eh?
  • 04 January 2016994. Dan M
    I support this petition
  • 04 January 2016993. Jo W
    The Loft plays a very important role in Cambridge. It works really well as it is.
  • 30 December 2015992. Andrew Stock
    Keep this place alive! dont kill live music, played there 3 times great little venue!!!
  • 24 December 2015991. Liz Solomon
    I support this petition
  • 23 December 2015990. Sophia Braun
    Don't shut it down please
  • 21 December 2015989. Tom L
    Cambridge needs the Loft
  • 09 December 2015988. Port E
    Don't take something that isn't yours.
  • 01 December 2015987. Angelica T
    I support this petition
  • 26 November 2015986. Dave I
    Barfly would turn it into a 'Pay to Play' Chain venue - We like it the way it is!!!!
  • 25 November 2015985. Anne C
    I support this petition
  • 24 November 2015984. Phil W
    I am shocked and upset to learn about this. The Loft is an amazing venue ran by extremely professional and caring people who have put an incredible amount of effort into making this their full time livelihood and have done so much for the Cambridge music
  • 17 November 2015983. Craig Guerrero
    I support this petition
  • 14 November 2015982. Christine J
    I support this petition
  • 06 November 2015981. Andrea G
    stop spoiling everything! keep the loft alive!
  • 05 November 2015980. Staci Mariew
    Let the music live on!!!
  • 03 November 2015979. Martin W
    John Peel would be turning in his grave if he could see all this comercialisation
  • 30 October 2015978. Krystal R
    I support this petition
  • 19 October 2015977. Tommy G
    I support this petition
  • 19 October 2015976. Alan N
    keep the corporate mf's off grass roots music; it's all we have left.
  • 18 October 2015975. John P
    it is so important to keep this a independent music venue for the simple reason that if only a few people run a great deal of venues then the public only get one limited amout of the music on offer.
  • 13 October 2015974. Adriana Little
    Please keep independent music alive, for those of us who still believe that talent and passion matters more than cash.

browse all the signatures

Robert AnthonyBy:
Nature and EnvironmentIn:
Petition target:
Barfly / Channelfly


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