the tote
The Tote Hotel | Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images

Melbourne’s Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar Launches Pozible Campaign to Buy The Tote

The owners of Melbourne’s Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar have launched a crowdfunding campaign to buy beloved Collingwood venue The Tote, which was officially put up for sale last week. In a statement shared across social media, owner Shane Hilton and partner Leanne announced they’d attempt to reach the $6.6 million sale price through the campaign, half of which they have already funded themselves.

“We’ve managed to hustle and can (with going into a shit load of debt to banks, family and using our own meagre savings) manage to put up half of that money,” Hilton and Leanne wrote in the Pozible campaign post. “What we need to do is raise the other half.”

“We’re Giving the Tote to the Bands of Melbourne Forever”

The Nation Blue perform at the Tote in 2011
The Nation Blue perform at the Tote in 2011 | Photo by Martin Philbey/Redferns

“We’re hoping to sell enough merch, good times and a future to raise the capital needed to purchase both the building and the business and save the Tote forever,” they continued.

Hilton and Leanne admitted to being daunted by wealthier developers who will no doubt have their eyes on the rock institution, but they said they’d “hate themselves if they didn’t try”. If the two succeed, they’ve promised The Tote will remain a live music venue.

“We’re giving the Tote to the bands of Melbourne forever,” Hilton and Leanne wrote. “No fuckers gunna touch one of those posters on that tobacco-stained ceiling. Nobody (and we mean nobody) will be able to sell the Tote ever again. It will forever remain exactly what it should be: the Tote.”

At the time of writing, the Last Chance To Save The Tote campaign has raised over $104,000. You can view the full campaign post and buy merch to support the cause over on Pozible.

The Tote was put up for sale on Wednesday, 1st March, with owners Jon Perring and Sam Crupi stating they simply had nothing left in the tank following the gruelling Covid years.

“We signed up to save the Tote once, not expecting to have to do it twice,” Perring and Crupi said. “Especially after we lost our business partner to cancer just before the Covid lockdowns started. It’s time for someone else to take it on with renewed enthusiasm and vision now Covid is behind us. We feel the timing [is] right.”

Perring and Crupi took over the Tote in 2010, after previous owner Bruce Milne decided to sell after the venue was designated “high risk” under new liquor licensing laws, which would have increased operating costs.

Further Reading

Melbourne Venue The Tote Is Up For Sale

Melbourne Venue The Curtin No Longer Closing Down, Publicans Granted 10 Year Lease

Iconic Newcastle Venue The Cambridge Hotel Is Closing Down

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