Keep MelloMello – the campaign to save the iconic Liverpool venue

Back in September 2012 we reported that Liverpool’s MelloMello venue was facing closure (LTW News) following Liverpool City Council’s decision to alter the popular the venues tax status.

MelloMello is operated as a none profit Community Interest Company and had been told that their business rates relief would be dramatically cut from 80% to 0% following the Council’s decision that the venue is not a high priority, and as such their support will be scrapped as the Council seeks to reduce their overall spending.

For the jewel in Liverpool’s grassroots music and cultural scene to be shut down this way, let alone at be shut down at all, would have been a terrible blow to the community, and raised the serious question about Liverpool Council’s previously and publically declared claim that Liverpool is a cultural hotspot, and that the Council is a supporter of this status and gains from the benefits that follow.

A campaign and petition to oppose the decision was begun; and after very vocal support from both local and distant patrons, not to mention many of the hundreds of artists and bands who have appeared there the Council recognised the value of Mello Mello and revised their decision; it seemed MelloMello had been saved…however the relief felt appears to have been short lived as the venue owners have advertised the building for sale. In an effort to prevent the loss of this valuable resource the management of the Mello Mello have mounted a further campaign to purchase the building thereby securing its future once and for all.

The Keep Mello Mello Campaign has been launched via Indiegogo – MelloMello need to raise funds to secure the iconic building which houses one of Liverpool’s most loved independent venues, vegetarian cafes and artistic hubs!

The staff and friends have already raised £10,000; the aim is to raise a further £30,000 and to secure a mortgage on the premises; the full details were first published on the Keep MelloMello Campaign, but quite simply if every one of the 10,000 people who signed the petition to reverse the original Council proposal donated just £3 the venue would be saved – the fundraising began a week ago and at this point just shy of £7000 has been donated; we urge any one who can support this fund raising effort to do so, and to do so as soon as possible; there are just 16 days left to raise the required funds.

Keep MelloMello – the campaign to save the iconic Liverpool venue

Keep MelloMello

What’s Going On?

The iconic building which houses MelloMello, a registered not for profit Community Interest Company set up to promote and facilitate local grassroots artistic endeavours as well as operating Liverpool’s best specialist vegetarian/vegan/gluten free restaurant, much cherised live performance venue, music studio, dance studio and Bido Lito! magazine offices is currently up for sale!

The company who have tranformed this previously derelict space into a vibrant cultural hub over the past five years have submitted a succesful offer for the purchase of the property in order to KEEP MELLOMELLO and prevent the building from falling into the hands of commerical developers and corporate investors looking to open up yet another chain-bar or supermarket in Liverpool city centre. However, interest in the property is high and we must act now to secure MelloMello and this organically grown business once and for all!

What Can We Do?

MelloMello are currently desperately seeking funds to raise a deposit for a mortgage on the building before time runs out. Friends and staff have ALREADY SECURED an amazing £10,000.00 and the company are hoping the community can help raise at least another £30,000 over the next 3 weeks. Whilst this does seem a paramount ask, we believe that there’s a whole lot of love out there for MelloMello and that there is a huge amount of people out there who will be overjoyed at the prospect of MelloMello being safe and secure for years to come so the company can continue its work in promoting local grassroots arts and maintaining a safe, welcoming, vibrant environment for everybody! This is a once in a liftime opportunity, we CAN do this! Last summer nearly 10,000 people signed a petition to help MelloMello obtain rates relief for this financial year. If everyone who signed that petition gave as little as £3 we will have reached our target!!

What Do We Get For Donating?

As well as being an absolute hero for all who use and benefit from MelloMello, the various aspects of the building from the kitchen and recording studio, the bar and the venue, the dance studio and the Bido Lito offices have joined forces to offer a number of limited edition “rewards” or perks for those who donate to the cause of keeping MelloMello. Here’s an example of some of the things on offer:

•A day’s worth of recording whatever you desire in the music studio with an experienced producer and engineer.
•A limited edition Bido Lito! Bundle featuring a compilation cassette of the best new Liverpool bands, a Bido Lito! t-shirt and a year’s subscription to the magazine!
•A Yoga taster course in the Tilt Dance Studio!
•A portrait of you or whoever you want….in cake form!
•A limited edition print commemorating your brilliance in helping to Keep MelloMello
•A FREE PASS to any event in MelloMello EVER!
•A private “lock in” for you and your pals with some free booze and food!
•A whisky (or other spirit!) tasting evening for you and 3 mates.

The Impact!!

If MelloMello are able to purchase and subsequently remain in their building, the company will finally have the freedom to improve the facilities on offer and build for the future (something which hasn’t been able to happen due to the previous lack of security of tenure). If you help you will be ensuring that this organically grown independent business, totally unique to Liverpool, can continue to grow and flourish and set an example that society and business can mix and be successful, and be beneficial for everyone! You will be helping to guard the future of one of Liverpool’s few remaining independent music venues, vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free eateries, musc rehearsal and recording studios, dance and well-being studios, artists’ studio space and community meeting rooms! At a time when many of Liverpool’s most loved indepedent businesses and venues are closing for good, we have a real chance of securing a future for Liverpool’s grassroot’s creative scene.

Keep MelloMello – the campaign to save the iconic Liverpool venue

What Happens If We’re Unsuccesful?

There is always the risk that MelloMello’s offer to purchase the building will be beaten by a massive cash-rich company or individual. The larger a deposit we can raise, the more chance we have of getting our mortgage deposit sorted. However, should things go wrong any money raised by this campaign will be used to continue the business either in the current building under new landlords (should they allow us to stay) or somewhere new (in Liverpool).

I can’t Donate, How Else Can I Help??

Times are indeed tough and most people won’t be able to donate as much as they would like. The best way to help would be to SPREAD THE WORD as far and wide as possible and let people know that YOU WANT TO KEEP MELLOMELLO. You can like the Save MelloMello Facebook page and use the IndieGoGo share tools to direct people here!!

If you have any other ideas for helping raise the funds for a deposit feel free to drop us a line at

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


  1. Technical point but the Council did not reverse their decision to remove rates relief, rather they advised Mello how to split their business between the charitable side and the business side which they subsequently did.

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