- "All proceeds from sales will go towards digging us out of a hole," said the venue's founder Gaz Williams, who also runs SVBKVLT.
ALL Club, Shanghai's epicentre for experimental electronic music, is urgently raising funds as the financial fallout from COVID-19 threatens its future.
The three-year-old venue needs more than ¥300,000 (about US$42,000) by the end of May, or else it will permanently shut down, according to a statement posted on Chinese social media platform WeChat last week.
Like other clubs in China, ALL closed in late January due to movement restrictions over the coronavirus pandemic. It reopened in mid-March, but its financial health has yet to recover. "We have now missed out on a few months' earnings, and this has put us up against the wall—rent and wages have gone out without much coming in," the statement reads.
To raise money, the venue is selling merchandise online at a name-your-price system starting May 12th. Various items representative of Chinese nightlife will be on offer, including t-shirts from local collectives Asian Dope Boys, Genome 6.66Mbp and 3-D artist Kim Laughton. Residents of China can purchase goods through ALL's page on e-commerce app Yumi, and international fans can head to ALL's Bandcamp.
"All proceeds from sales will go towards digging us out of a hole," Gaz Williams, who runs ALL as well as the local label SVBKVLT, told Resident Advisor.
Loved for high-BPM sounds that range from grime to gabber, kaleidoscopic audiovisuals and a roster of progressive bookings that you wouldn't hear in most Shanghai clubs, ALL is home to a subculture that's heavy on disorienting and glitchy rhythms. Without the open-minded ALL, many fear these sounds wouldn't be able to survive in the Chinese city. Like The Shelter—the bomb shelter-turned-basement club with penetrating sub-bass that Williams also managed before its closure in 2016—ALL gives artists the freedom to experiment.
As part of fundraising efforts, ALL is also hosting a number of events this month, including a physical market featuring collectibles from local designers and artists for sale. Last week, the club held an auto-tuned karaoke party, and this week, there's a two-night video exhibition curated by queer activist Alvin Li. The installation, which explores themes around club culture, takes its cues from the German word clubsterben, meaning "the death of clubs."
ALL will close out the month by hosting either its last-ever party or celebrating its survival. Despite the stress, Williams is feeling optimistic. "Support has been amazing so far," he said over the weekend. "We are well on our way of reaching the target if this momentum continues."
See ALL's May calendar.