MUSIC-lovers are celebrating after the campaign to save threatened Oxford music venue The Cellar hit its £80,000 target – guaranteeing its survival.

The fundraising drive, launched four weeks ago, exceeded its goal, with money still rolling in.

Venue manager Tim Hopkins praised the thousands of “brilliant” supporters who donated to the campaign to save the underground club, in Frewin Court, off Cornmarket.

The Cellar is the last real independent gig venue in Oxford city centre and has given a platform to a generation of new bands, including arena rockers Foals. However, in June it was dealt a crippling blow by Oxfordshire County Council inspectors, who said the venue’s 70cm fire escape was 30cm too narrow. They ordered it to cut the number of people it allows in from 150 to just 60, making it unviable as a live music venue.

The money will pay for a new exit, other work and make up for lost earnings.

Stars join local bands in backing campaign to save much-loved venue

Mr Hopkins said work could start as early as January. He said: “We are awestruck. Thanks to our brilliant supporters, The Cellar has been saved.

“It’s amazing. Five weeks ago we thought we were going to have to close, but now we live to fight another day. This has been a real roller coaster.

“There are a lot of things to get in place, but the building has been surveyed and detailed drawings have been drawn up. We have consulted with building control, submitted plans to the planning office and received quotes from builders – all available to start in January.

“This has all been done through the power of the people. Thank you so, so much to everyone who helped because without this, The Cellar would definitely have closed next month. It’s been an incredible journey and one we hope also communicates to people out there, just how crucial small venues are to our music and arts community. We are so grateful we now have the chance to save our beloved venue.”

Oxford band Glass Animals tweeted “ The Cellar lives. Well done everyone!”

Pledges are still welcome. Go to

Ticket site pledged £5k to club by becoming a patron