The Synergy Project
Between 2002 and 2007, The Synergy Project ran a series of multi-media ‘conscious parties’ at the SEOne Club in London Bridge, South London, presenting a wide range of art forms including a variety of forms of western dance music, live folk and world music, poetry, film, performance dance, art and video installations and a speakers / discussion space, combined with information stalls from NGOs working in the environmental, social justice and development sectors.
Within a year, the events were attracting widespread critical acclaim and in excess of 2,000 people aged 18-45, with a more mature and cultured demographic than normal, generating a turn-over of £20-30k per event and a profit of £3-7.5k. When one considers the venue costs of £6500 and a bar take of £10-15k, the nights had become a very significant income generator, yet half the income was lost to agencies from outside the community, notably the venue which was owned by commercial interests. The sporadic nature of the events also prevented the organisation behind Synergy from building its capacity and this was limiting the scale to which the project could be expanded.