Grass Roots Musician Organisation Under Threat

Why should you help us?

Silo SE8 has been self-supporting for over 30 years and our members have performed for local venues and events but have seen no reason up to now to seek a public profile for the group as a whole.

We are not a label, we don’t specialise in a genre, we are just a group of disparate musicians who trust each other to share the rent and running of a rehearsal and storage space. No one is paid, all the work to keep it going has been voluntary. Over the years the membership has slowly changed as musicians have moved on and been replaced by new members but the ethic has remained the same.

Unfortunately our survival is under threat, our landlord is seeking to double our rent, so we are looking for help.
We have legal advice but if someone could suggest how we could gain support for our cause, perhaps write a letter of support or point us toward an alternative secure tenancy in the Deptford area, please do.

As a group we have been so low lying that we easily qualify as a real grass roots organisation. We do not advertise, we are just known by word of mouth among networks of musicians. Silo SE8’s whole purpose is to share rent in order to make it affordable. Over time we have learnt the maximum number of members who can share one space and give everyone enough rehearsal time in 7 days of 24 hours is about 27. Rehearsal time is obviously of the highest priority for musicians.

Having already reached this number of members, a doubling of rent by the landlord will mean a doubling of membership fee for each musician in SILO SE8. Plainly some of us will not be able to afford this, not just the younger members but others who have to juggle their priorities, when UK music events and venues are suffering economically. This is why the rent increase, while not yet signed off, is looking like a fatal blow.

Through various addresses, the SILO SE8 concept has worked based on the trust and goodwill of its members. It has not needed to organise other than to share a calendar and rely on elected volunteers to work as treasurer, chair and secretary. Members also pitch in to clean, do repairs and provide miscellaneous equipment and sundries. No one is paid.

We need support to show our landlord that we really are a non-profit worthy of a non-exploitative rental space among their tenancies.

Because of the nature of our membership our community contributions have been an inevitable consequence, Silo SE8 Musicians have played in street bands celebrating the annual Deptford Jack In the Green and for the Deptford Anchor Campaign and been deeply involved in the past in Deptford Festival, in Fordham Park Festival and more recently in Party in the Park.
People within Silo SE8 have organised benefit shows for Survivors Poetry, ALD Life, and supported the visit of the MS Stubnitz from Rostock Germany. Silo SE8 musicians have performed in all of these events.

On the one occasion that we did secure a small amount of grant funding, by dint of an extraordinary amount of work from one member in particular, we were able to network internationally and provide space for international acts to perform locally. The bands included
Black Magic Six (Finland)
Harry Merry (Netherlands)
Blackfire/Jones Benally Family (Navajo/native American band)
La Fourche (France)
Boningen (Japan)
Mr Protector (France)
Budosok (Hungary)
Puckston (Germany)
Digep (Hungary)
Pulka (Germany)
Endre Szkarosi (Hungary)
Schmil Frankel (Israel)
Fotomoto (Ukraine)
Sumski (Croatia)
Graph (Germany)
Tudosok (Hungary)
Grassmower (Netherlands)
Vialka (France/Canada)
Guess What (France)
Wahorn (Hungary)
Hanjiro (Japan)
Zoambo Zoet Workestrao (Slovenia)

If you think ours is the sort of non-profit organisation that could do with some help, please share this news of our plight among your friends and social media and perhaps we can shake out letters of support to pass on to our landlords, or someone may have a secure space with a viable rent with 24 hour access we could move to.

Thank you for reading this far.

If you would like to send a letter of support or have another helpful suggestion please email:

If you want to support and you are not sure what to say, something along these lines may suit:
“Silo SE8 is an essential part of the arts ecosystem in South East London. The demise of this non-profit, modest, self-organised association of musicians would have repercussions way beyond, just its membership, which is why I’m writing in support. I would like to urge, whoever sets the rent to really consider whether they wish to support the local culture or damage it.”
It would really help if you could give your name and at least a postcode with your email. Thank you from SILO SE8