Stuart Glen talks The Cause one year on

It was an almost a year ago that The Cause opened its doors in Tottenham. They have fast become known as a club venue for underground house and techno music and are now known internationally in the dance music scene. They have also collaborated with and supported local businesses and collectives.

We had a pint and a catch up with Stuart Glen for an update on how things have been going. Co-founded by Stuart, Eugene Wild and Rhys Rose, The Cause is a meanwhile space based just off Ashley Road in Tottenham Hale. They were given the space, previously an old car depot, for 18 months to turn into a club and multi-purpose event and co-working space. Since we interviewed Stuart, the team have received news that this has been extended until January 2020. Stuart explained that the fact it’s time limited makes it that little bit more special.

One of the things that makes The Cause unique is their aim to raise £25,000 for charities CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) and Mind, and they’ve reached just over £15,000 so far.

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Is it everything you expected it to be?

Yeah, it’s gone really well but we’ve had to do a lot more than we first expected to get to where we needed to get… doing back-to-back events every weekend.

We’ve become very well established. DJs come from all over: Mexico, Germany, Japan, US. Agents approach us now ’cause they want their DJs to play here. We’ve also given opportunities to lots of local collectives.

Everything was created from the ground up, we were friends who met and built the club together. Eugene has built it. Everything is repurposed and it’s very DIY. I think it’s that realness of it coming from the ground up that has managed to get it a lot of respect internationally as a venue.

Which local collectives have you supported?

We’ve provided a home for Threads radio, a new radio station run by Freddie Sugden, previously station manager at 199radio in Manor House. They’ve got nearly 300 shows with local DJs. Harry who helped build the club has been interviewing legends that have come along.

What other businesses do you have upstairs?

Kristina Records (independent record store), fashion, underwear and shoe designers, artists, tradespeople (a plumber and steelworkers), a sound and light specialist, social media guys, a PR agency and independent sound system company CORE. They create bespoke sound systems and their first install was here which gives them an opportunity to have a showcase. We did have a barber shop, Idris, who recently moved over to Gaunson House on Markfield Road.

We are also home to independent rum company Pirate’s Grog who supply us, our house vodka is from an independent local distillery and we serve London-brewed beer by Five Points.

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You had plans to set up a membership scheme to help fundraise…

We quickly realised that it wasn’t viable to do it how we originally intended. We now work with our ticketing partner and 15% of the booking fees from in-house shows go to charity.

We organised a Keith Flint fundraiser which hit the national media, we were on ITV news, in local papers and NME featured it. We took that and worked with 14 partners across the country to do The Cause Presents fundraising tour and we give all the money from tickets to our partner charities.

Our aim was to raise 25 grand for the charities and we’ve raised just over 15 grand so far. It feels good to be able to do that. We’re trying to double that 25 grand and if we get the space until January [they did!] I’m hoping to reach 50k.

Another thing we’re doing is working with a trained mental health specialist that we’re offering to music agents so they can look after their artist’s mental health. Money from the training course will go to CALM and Mind.

What have been your biggest challenges?

Initially, it was a big challenge getting people to Tottenham. At first people didn’t realise how easy it was to get to – 10 mins in an Uber from Hackney or 11 mins from Liverpool Street on the train. It took a lot of energy to get people into the mindset of coming here. We put on a ridiculous amount of shows to make that happen. Now people are coming to Tottenham because of us.

The amount of work we’ve put into building it, there’s consistently loads of work that needs to get done. I thought initially we would set it up and after three months it would be ready to go, but there’s the maintenance of the place, improving the sound system in one room, switching stuff around, fire safety. In the outdoor area we’ve put a tent up to hold events during the winter, now we’re building a terrace, where we’ll have pizza company, Sud Italia, starting a residency from 13 April.

At first no one knows who you are, where The Cause is and agents are reluctant to give you their acts because they don’t want to put it in an unknown venue in case it fails. But we’ve quickly built our reputation and now agents are approaching us to book their acts.

We’ve got lots of ideas and it’s gone from crawling to 100 miles an hour basically!

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What’ve been your favourite moments?

We have a very fun gay party once a month. It’s amazing to see something like that happen – people come out and express themselves. They’re free, they let themselves go, they have lots of fun and it’s something really special.

The moments we create on the dancefloor – it’s really good escapism. We’ve had lots of big DJs. Derrick May was one of the bookings we took which everyone took notice of, he’s a techno legend. That was quite a defining moment. The Tribes parties we do are lots of fun, we join up with Grow and do a big full venue show.

We’ve done some stuff outside and it’s nice to see the outside work with music. We had a decompression after party for Burning Man which was really cool. Everybody was in these weird outfits, playing video games and chilling on a Sunday.

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What have you got coming up?

We’re currently planning our birthday. A dogs disco will happen. Tribes on Easter Thursday which will be really cool, we’ve got Nicky Siano, former resident DJ at Studio 54 from New York.

We started a new party, Syzygy, which has done really well, we’ve seen loads of DJs from Berlin and Romania which is quite a hot sound. Electro legend Danny Daze is coming in. We also have soul, funk, reggae, the odd live band and are looking at doing some live jazz.

On 13 April we’re doing a Record Store Day party and will be stocking local Tottenham brewed beer til 5pm.

Sud Italia pizza will be available from Wednesday – Friday 5-11pm, Sat & Sun 1pm – close.

Grow next door do some really cool stuff too and they’ve also got the cafe there which does really good food.

supportthecause.co.uk

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Sud Italia pizza

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