- The beloved spot shut its doors for the last time on Monday, March 11th.
Oxford music venue The Cellar has closed for good.
The team behind the beloved spot posted a statement on Facebook yesterday, confirming that it closed its doors for the last time on Monday, March 11th. The last show took place on Saturday. "After crunching the numbers a thousand times over, the Hopkins family, who have run the independent music venue for nearly 40 years, have sadly come to conclusion that they cannot continue," the statement reads.
The Cellar, which was considered one of the best house and techno spaces in the city, has been under threat since 2017, when the landlords revealed plans to turn it into a retail space. That proposal was eventually withdrawn, though the venue suffered a further setback last year when its capacity was reduced from 150 to 60 due to new fire regulations, according to Computer Music Update. A subsequent crowdfunding campaign raised £92,000 to help pay for a new fire escape. That money will now be returned.
"After months of negotiations, we would have loved to have been able to take the landlord's final rent offer, but it came too late," continues the statement. "What's more, even with a vaguely doable rent agreed, there were no guarantees on the time frame of the building work, which required access to the shop above and various structural considerations. Essentially, the whole process took far longer than we were expecting, and we simply could not keep operating under these conditions."
What will happen to the space is still unclear, though the statement says it's "grateful to the landlords for recognising the cultural importance of the venue." It adds: "Moreover, we hope that the space, in some shape or form, will continue as a live music venue."
In 2018 alone, The Cellar hosted the likes of Shanti Celeste, Sunil Sharpe, Josey Rebelle, Shifted, Steve Davis and Peach.
Read the statement in full.