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The Matchstick Piehouse: A vibrant hub for London’s folk and art scene facing uncertain future

The Matchstick Piehouse, a cornerstone of London's exciting young folk scene, is under threat. Here's how you can help.

In the heart of Deptford, London, sits the Matchstick Piehouse, an eclectic and community-oriented venue that has become a pivotal hub for the city’s flourishing folk and arts scene. Since its establishment at 213-4 Edward Street in 2018, the Piehouse has not only been a space for artistic expression but also a beacon of community values and inclusivity.

Built and initially staffed by volunteers, the Matchstick Piehouse is a testament to the power of community spirit. This unique venue, which now employs a range of talented individuals from artists and musicians to researchers, all based in South London, stands as a shining example of a grassroots project evolving into a sustainable model while staying true to its roots.

One of the most notable aspects of the Matchstick Piehouse is its commitment to sourcing all stock locally, from either South or East London, showcasing the richness of the local culture and economy. The venue’s diverse portfolio of events is equally impressive, ranging from queer cabarets and anarchist performance art nights to folk jam sessions. The Piehouse is also renowned for hosting Steam Down, a beloved weekly jazz concert that has been a staple for four years.

The Matchstick Piehouse has become a regular haunt for the burgeoning young London folk scene, particularly for the Goblin Band, who were recently featured in Tradfolk’s Young Folkies of the Year article. Its regular singarounds have become a highpoint of the monthly calendar, perfectly complimenting the regular concerts (often attended by a similar crowd) that have sprung up at North London’s Moth Club, courtesy of Broadside Hacks.

In its mission to provide a space for art and community that transcends commercialism, the Matchstick Piehouse has set a high bar. Its emphasis on respecting staff, welcoming people of all ability needs, and prioritizing representation for historically under-represented groups has created an environment of mutual respect and empowerment.

Over the last five years, the venue has hosted hundreds of events, introduced thousands of people, and forged unforgettable memories. It has been a place of celebration, laughter, and the blossoming of a beautiful community, united by the power of art and mutual respect.

However, the future of this beloved venue is now in jeopardy. The Matchstick Piehouse faces a significant challenge due to Covid-related rent arrears, a consequence of being unable to trade during lockdowns and experiencing mixed trading in the subsequent years. Despite efforts, the venue has been unable to resolve these financial difficulties.

With the lease under threat unless the full sum of rent arrears is paid by the end of the week, the Matchstick Piehouse is, for the first time in its history, turning to the public for help. In an era marked by a cost-of-living crisis and numerous political campaigns vying for public donations, the Piehouse team understands the gravity of their request for financial support. This appeal is made out of necessity, in the hopes of preserving a space that has become a home for artists, musicians, and community members alike.

The Matchstick Piehouse stands at a critical juncture, turning to Crowdfunder to call on the support of its community and lovers of folk and the arts to help continue its legacy. As a hub for creativity, inclusivity, and community spirit, the venue’s survival is crucial not just for those who have found a home within its walls, but also for the vibrant cultural landscape of London.

To make a donation and help keep the Matchstick Piehouse open, head to their Crowdfunder page.