Move It Or Lose It: The Fight to Save THE BUTTERFLY CLUB

The fate of an amazing Melbourne performance venue is in our hands…

By Myron My

I have been going to the Butterfly Club for a few years now and have had the opportunity to watch some amazing and varied shows there: ones that otherwise would not have seen the light of day had it not been for this curated venue. The Butterfly Club has given emerging and established performers the opportunity to create new works and have them watched by a welcoming and open-minded audience.

Since 1999, The Butterfly Club has presented more than 1300 new Australian works. It has given immensely to the theatre community in discovering and nurturing performers and now it needs our help. The Butterfly Club must relocate from South Melbourne to 256 Collins Street in the city centre in February 2013. Director Mr Simone Pulga said the move was due to the unbearable costs of operating in the current premises. “If we increased the cost of drinks to match the rise in rent, we’d have to charge $12.50 for a stubby. We must move The Butterfly Club to a better location.

The Butterfly Club 1

“Paradoxically, inner-city Melbourne has provided us with an affordable, long-term opportunity to create a new theatre space in an exciting unused building. The show room will be larger with more comfortable seating but the venue will remain just as intimate and quirky with the much-loved decor and regular shows moving with the venue,” he said.

The Butterfly Club has a sustainable arts model which doesn’t rely on any government subsidies and even though this model will be replicated in the new location it first needs funds specifically for the relocation and – when housing Australia’s largest collection of kitsch art – this is not going to be easy!

A community fundraising campaign is currently underway using the popular crowd-funding website Pozible. The campaign is embracing the ‘Buy A Brick’ phenomena, aptly designated ‘Cash For Kitsch’. Supporters will be able to adopt a piece of The Butterfly Club history from among its wondrous collection of miscellany, and ensure it has a home at the new venue.

The artist community including Tim Minchin, Eddie Perfect, Marieke Hardy, Dan Ilik, Tripod and many more have rallied behind the campaign, donating exclusive rewards and experiences. $130,000 is needed for the relocation, and it is hoped at least $20,000 of this can be raised via the crowd-funding campaign, which closes on 16 January.

The Butterfly Club is a Melbourne icon in the theatre, comedy and cabaret world and something we all need to band together over to ensure that it can continue to showcase our home-grown talent. To donate and get some seriously good rewards – not including the tingly feeling of doing something awesome – click http://pozible.com/thebutterflyclub for more information.

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