The Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar launches campaign to save The Tote in Melbourne

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The Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar launches campaign to save The Tote in Melbourne

The Tote Melbourne
Amyl & The Sniffers during a soundcheck in The Last Chance front bar.
words by kaya martin

The owners of the punk rock dive want to help preserve The Tote in Melbourne as a live music venue forever.

Earlier this month, when the team behind The Tote Melbourne took to Instagram to announce the venue was up for sale, fans immediately sprung into action to develop a plan to save it. The beloved band room has become a fixture of the northside music scene since it opened its doors in 1981, with a reputation for giving the stage to the gems of Australian punk, rock, metal and hardcore.

Today, the Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar has announced their bid to buy The Tote and save it from the sad fate of being sold to developers. The Last Chance team has promised that, if their bid is successful, they will put The Tote into trust to “protect what is one of Australia’s most important live music venues and to ensure it remains a live music venue forever”.

The Last Chance to Save The Tote

  • The Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar has announced a bid to buy The Tote in Melbourne
  • The owners have donated half of the necessary funds and have organised a campaign to help raise the rest
  • The campaign, on for the next month, will offer prizes and rewards to donors

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The Last Chance is a “late night punk rock hole” in the CBD owned by partners Shane Hilton and Leanne Chance which is known for throwing intimate gigs in its 185-capacity bedroom. The pair has already donated half of the funds needed to save The Tote, “with going into a shit load of debt to banks, family and using our own meager savings”, and have launched a Pozible campaign to secure the rest.

As the current asking price of The Tote Melbourne sits around $6, Last Chance is hoping to raise $3 million through the campaign. If they are unable to meet their goal in a month’s time, all donations will be returned.

There are rewards on offer for those who donate, including Last Chance to Save The Tote T-shirts, free shows for you and 50 of your friends, personalised bar stools with “kick off rights for life” and paintings of yourself behind the bar (you would become “patron saint of The Tote”). There is also a chance for supporters to have their name inked permanently onto the body of Last Chance owner Shane Hilton.

On March 27 from 12pm, the bar will host a Last Chance To Save The Tote Pozible Pledge Drive Spectacular on Youtube with the hope of driving up donations. The campaign will run until April 27.

“We’re acutely aware, more than anyone, that there is very little money in live music venues. We don’t give a shit,” reads the fundraiser page.

“We believe that our sole responsibility is to ensure that live music, its amazing culture and its ability to transform young people’s lives should be there well beyond when we are gone. We just want to give back to what has given us so much.”

There is less than a week left to save The Tote. To donate to the Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar’s campaign, head here.

Iconic Melbourne venue The Tote is up for sale