Krakatoa operates differently from most other businesses.
Black Cat Worker Collective is a registered non-profit, incorporated as an asset locked community interest company limited by guarantee. There are no shareholders or beneficial owners. Our stated community purpose is to enhance the local grassroots music scene:
The business is in equal and collective ownership, operates as a non-hierarchal worker cooperative under the principle of One Worker One Vote, and is a member of the International Cooperative Alliance:
We do not believe that music should be marketed as ancillary to booze, which is why we levy a reasonable admission charge to each concert. All of our cultural activity is ring-fenced, and any surplus generated from those admission receipts can only be used to fund our music programme. As such we qualify for cultural exemption from VAT under Cultural exemption legislation – Group 13, Schedule 9 VAT Act 1994:
At grassroots level, 100% of those admission receipts are paid to the artists who perform at those concerts.
The venue has never taken a cut of the artists’ merchandise sales, nor do we charge for a merch stall, even though said provision reduces our audience capacity. We were among the first to sign up to the FAC 100% Venues Charter:
Our organisation benefits from non-profit lease, with the entirety of our ‘rent’ reinvested in fabric of the venue. This enables us to rely on exclusively on bar sales to cover our overheads and pay our wages. Beyond that we also choose to reinvest a significant portion of any bar surplus into our music programme each year. In 2021/22 we allocated the entire bar surplus to that purpose:
- £15K invested in additional live streaming equipment.
- £35K invested in AV recording, editing and mixing equipment, that artists can use to produce their own EPKs etc.
- £8K invested in a 12-way wireless IEM system, capable of producing 4 separate stereo images.
- £5K invested in a replacing our drum kit with a top of the range model.
- £2K spent on repairing the rest of our backline and replacing mic stands and cables.
- £1K invested in vastly upgraded vocal microphones, also scheduled for installation this week.
That amounted to an additional £66K of reinvestment, over and above what was directly generated by ring-fenced cultural activity.
In summary: Black Cat Worker Collective is a bona fide non-profit organisation, specifically setup to support music at a grassroots level, and not a private company incorporated for profit. That is what sets us apart.