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Iconic Melbourne venue The Tote calls for community support with new fundraiser

26 June 2020 | 2:03 pm | Emma Jones

Iconic Melbourne venue The Tote has called for community support to help them keep the engine running in the wake of COVID-19.

Melbourne venue THE TOTE has launched a new GoFundMe page in an effort to help raise funds and remain open. The venue has set a goal of $70,000, citing closures from COVID-19 and ongoing restrictions as the reason for their need of community support.

"Like many other small businesses and cultural institutions, the Tote Hotel has been financially crushed by the COVID-19 shutdown. After closing our doors in March, we now need to find ways to generate the funds to reopen and host live music. Despite some government assistance, our bank accounts have run dry. JobKeeper has kept our staff going, but this is only one of the many costs that keep The Tote alive," the venue wrote on their GoFundMe page.

Co-owner Jon Perring discussed the venue's decision to launch the fundraising initiative, saying there is no substitute for live music and cited the significant operating costs of running a venue even when it is at full capacity. In the clip, he says it is simply not viable for the venue to exist with a limited crowd capacity, so they are looking to lean on the shoulders of their community in the hopes they might be able to keep the engines running.

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The Tote has existed for nearly 40 years, and is one of the country's most loved live music venues. At the time of writing, the GoFundMe sits at just under $10,000 already pledged. The venue has also stated a list of rewards for those that are pledging, including shouting a friend a pot, three games of pool (when possible) and six drinks, the option to sponsor a gig or a band, free entry for a year and the holy grail of having your name (or the name of your dog, cat, band or business) added to their "Roll of Honour on Wellington St."

You can support The Tote here.

Words by Emma Jones