The Cause is a club with a difference, a new space in Tottenham Hale looking to reverse the trend of music venue closures and simultaneously support local charities. Jim Ottewill finds out how
This summer, Tottenham is going to be the place to be,” says The Cause’s co-founder Stuart Glen. And he should know. If things go according to plan, his new 400-capacity venue in Downs Lane Studios – with its 5am licence, custom-built sound system and unique fundraising membership scheme – looks set to become a flagship space, ensuring Tottenham is pinned firmly on the capital’s map as a hotbed of music, creativity and after-hours revelry.
But how did this game-changing venture come about?
“I’ve always loved putting on parties,” explains Stuart, “but a lot of clubs have closed due to increasing rents, business rates and pressures from licensing.”
He continues: “We’re tackling these challenges head on by working with developers on an empty building, connecting them with culture, raising money for a good cause and letting people carry on the dance. We’re hoping we raise enough charitiable funds to prove to other developers we can make good use of their empty buildings and aim to move the project on and on. A transient, roaming, positive party space.”
With deep roots tangled around London’s late nights and underground shindigs, Glen, alongside business partner Eugene Wild, have called on their friends and contacts to help them construct The Cause.
Built “with no investment but a lot of love”, the space is the latest new venture spearheading a real revival in Tottenham’s nightlife. Not only is its bespoke Core Soundsystem one of the best around, but the DJ booth is uniquely situated in the middle of the dancefloor making it more akin to an ace raving spot in Berlin, rather than an N17 club near the retail park. Located next to Five Miles, Styx, Beavertown and the newly opened High Cross; it’s clear that the postcode is sending out a signal to the switched on looking to dig deeper to find their fun.
Glen agrees: “There’s so much great stuff going on in Tottenham. A lot of people have suddenly just clocked that there are loads of great spaces to put events on. We’re part of a big creative warehouse community nearby – it’s got 24-hour tubes and loads more opportunities for projects like this.”
With an astute booking policy, based on experience gained through years spent on dancefloors, guests so far have included Chicago house don Marshall Jefferson, Subb-An and Johnny Aux of Paranoid London. At the same time, the space is providing a platform for London talent to shine through.
Alongside this, The Cause stands out due to its commitment to raise money for local charities via a membership scheme. What’s behind this altruistic vibe? “Mental health is a big issue in the music industry at the moment. It’s also a key part of Haringey Council’s framework,” answers Glen.
The venue is partnered with Help Musicians UK, Mind in Haringey and C.A.L.M., and aims to raise £25,000 for these charities within 12 months and more thereafter.
A transient, roaming, positive party space
“I’m a firm believer in if you do good things, good things will come to you and we’ve had a great response so far. We also wanted to create a community and sense of loyalty among those who come. A membership scheme with great offers seemed a good way to do this and gave us an extra revenue stream that we can afford to kick back fees to charities for.”
The ambition at the heart of The Cause can only be applauded and means it’s shaping up to be one of London’s most exciting spaces.
But for anyone questioning where else the sense of community comes in alongside raving, Glen has other plans in the locker.
“We have collectively licensed the space with our friends at Grow Tottenham who are building a community garden with workshops for school children and much more,” he says.
The venue is also helping the rest of Down Lane Studios project, where it lives, by providing low risk work space for local business and offering an events space open to all.
As Glen says: “From life drawing classes, to yoga, to fitness raves and even a dog’s disco. There will be something for everyone!”
Visit or find out more about The Cause:
Visit Down Lane Studios, Ashley House, Ashley Road N17 9LZ
Opening times: Sunday–Thursday, 9pm–12am Friday–Saturday, 9pm–5am