The generosity of many music-lovers has recently saved Melbourne-based record store, Basement Discs.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Basement Discs co-owners Suzanne Bennett and Rod Jacobs struggled to pay rent. The Block Arcade store co-owners said that the store had faced a decrease in sales by approximately 80% because of the pandemic. To add to the difficulties, Jacobs also has been fighting cancer for many years now.
The co-owners noted the store’s landlord was ’very supportive’ throughout the lockdowns, offering financial relief, however it remained a challenge for the store’s rent to be paid since its reopening.
However Bennett added that despite Melbourne being open, business owners are still struggling. With government funding no longer available, the co-owners said that is going to be a ‘very, very difficult, very challenging scenario, keeping [the] business going.’
Basements Discs has had its doors opened for over 28 years, and undoubtedly has loyal music-loving supporters. One such supporter was musician Alison Ferrier. She heard of the turmoils faced by Basement Discs and suggested a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe.
Ferrier said the store had always supported her, selling her records, and having her perform in-store.
‘I just remember one time [Bennett] just telling me how awful things were and that it might be the end of the road for them. She just was feeling defeated and exhausted and didn’t know if she could continue’ Ferrier said.
Ferrier and her husband, musician Jeff Lang started the appeal ‘Save Basement Discs’ and had raised over $25,000 for the store within one week.
On the crowdfunding page Ferrier and Lang wrote, ‘our friends Suzanne and Rod at record store Basement Discs in Melbourne have played a major role in supporting independent musicians for the past 28 years. They give those of us who exist outside the mainstream an outlet to sell and promote our music through album sales and in-store performances. Alas, its existence is now under major threat.’
The now-ended campaign has over 252 donations from various supporters. Bennett said she could not believe the level of support for their independent record store and was now confident Basement Discs would remain open.
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