Leicester music venue’s shirt solution to “huge” vandalism problem

The Shed tshirt graphic

By Alexander Hodgkins-Jones

An independent Leicester music venue has launched a range of tongue-in-cheek merchandise to raise funds for vandalism repairs.

Owners of the city centre indie venue The Shed came up with the idea to sell T-shirts sporting slogans such as “Kick Ass, Not Toilets”, after “huge amounts” of vandalism over the Christmas period left them facing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

“In the last few months the men’s toilet sink has been kicked-in four times, the taps have been stolen three times, a supposedly vandal-proof mirror was punched in twice,” said Tom Carnell, the venue manager.

“We’re already struggling so just ‘why are you doing this?’”

Owner Elizabeth Carley-Leonard posted an emotional video to social media on January 8, criticising the “senseless vandalism” of a place she considers to be her home.

Bills totalling £2,500 to replace everything from hand dryers to urinals, put the venue at real risk.

“Independent venues like ours do not have the funds to fix your mistakes,” said Elizabeth in the video.

To tackle the issue and raise the much-needed funds, Elizabeth, Tom and graphic designer pal, Jaz Hunt, decided to get creative.

“We were trying to relieve some of the stress of the situation by coming up with a few jokey slogans about it – then we were talking about how we would pay for the damages and Elizabeth said, ‘let’s whack these on some T-shirts’,” said Tom.

The shirts are being sold for £15 through The Shed’s Facebook page and are available in three designs.

Punters can choose to, “Smash Stigmas, Not Mirrors”, “Steal Hearts, Not Taps” or “Kick Ass, Not Toilets”.

Tom said: “The response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

“I didn’t think many people would really care, but so many people have said ‘I want to help’, well now they can ’cause these T-shirts are hilarious.”

With orders flooding in, Tom hopes to get some of the designs sold behind the bar.

Despite his frustration, Tom acknowledges that people “make mistakes” and has urged any vandals to come forward, apologise and pay for any damages done.

The Shed boasts that it is Leicester’s oldest music venue and hosts a variety of up and coming artists and bands year-round.

If you want to support The Shed, you can see upcoming events on their Facebook page or purchase a T-shirt here.


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