In the world of SF fandom, we’ve already seen crowd funding start-ups for books, films and conventions. Now, Rule 32, a team of self-confessed “geeks”, are turning to the indiegogo resource to launch their own crowd-funding mission: the “ulimate geek events venue”.
Their goal is to crowd-fund the purchase and development of a beautiful, but currently rather shabby, 1920s theatre building in Worcester in order for it to become a cool venue for all sorts of SF-related events… a “Hard Rock Café for Geeks”, as it were.
It’s an ambitious project that needs some somewhat substantial sums to back it, and so I was curious as to what had inspired the venture. I caught up with Rule 32 team member, Su Haddrell, to find out more.
Donna: Who or what is Rule 32?
Su: Fundamentally Rule32 is the concept of bringing everyone together to enjoy their individual interests. The name initially came from the film Zombieland. “Rule#32:Enjoy The Little Things.” It just fitted. Rule32Cafe will be a café bar and events venue, aiming to provide a space to chill out, play games, drink tea and read books, or visit for a writers panel or comic signing.
Donna: Who are the team behind this and how did they come to take on this project?
Su: The Rule32 team are a group of friends who have been friends and geeks for years. We often had that “We should open a geek café” discussion. One day last year, a combination of career frustration and general restlessness lead us to start researching the concept. And it just got more serious the more we looked into it.
Donna: Are you intent on world domination?
Su: I think the Rule32 concept definitely has cloning potential. I’m not sure if that’s where we’re looking to take it, but if Rule32cafe is successful, then it opens up huge opportunities for similar venues for likeminded people across the UK. And then the world. Start small I reckon…
Donna: Why Worcester?
Su: It’s our home town. We’ve known each other for years, we love the city, and none of us have plans of moving anywhere. And it’s a good city to use – easily accessible by train for visitors as well as having a local student population. The café has the opportunity to frequently refresh its audience and keep up with any new geek interests.
Donna: What's the first thing you hope to achieve?
Su: That’s a big question! At the moment, we aim to achieve funding! Then we achieve property! Then we achieve renovation and decoration. Then we achieve opening! There’s always a bigger fish…..
Donna: Ultimate aims?
Su: Personally, I think this is our career plan. None of us are opposed to hard work – it’d just be nice to be working hard for something worthwhile instead of the job that pays the bills. Businesswise, we want to be known throughout the UK as the Geek Venue to visit. We’d love to hear that question “Have you been to Rule32Cafe? It’s amaaazing!”
Donna: Will you be looking to make the space about the projects you have already envisioned, or would you be hoping for more people to get involved past the funding stage, and how?
Su: We love getting people together, talking, networking and involving everyone. Whilst we’re very precious about our concept and what we’re aiming to do, we want to be able to appeal to and involve all interests. Several people have approached us suggesting cosplay workshops. Others have suggested Steampunk tea parties and table top Game Tournaments. The idea of a Lord of The Rings weekender – all films showing all night, with themed food, quizzes, costumes etc. has been very popular. Whilst we won’t have the space for LFCC scale conventions, we can definitely cater to a whole host of event types. We want to work with other people as much as we can. If there’s an audience for it – we’ll have a crack at it.
Thanks, Su! If you would like to find out more, or perhaps even make a donation, Rule 32’s indiegogo link is: http://igg.me/at/Rule32cafe/x/2069990... And the team promise that if you can refer 5 other people to the project, you can win prizes donated by SFX, Neil Gaiman and Robert Rankin, who have all lent their weighty support to this campaign.