AN online crowdfunding campaign to ensure an LGBTI-friendly bookstore in Melbourne can continue to also operate as a performance venue has raised over half its target, with 22 days remaining in the campaign.

Hares and Hyenas, located in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, recently launched a fundraising campaign through Pozible to soundproof its eastern walls in order to comply with a local council ruling.

The campaign runs until November 30, and at the time of print it had so far raised $9225. The fundraising target is $12,500.

“The Pozible campaign is very much about future-proofing the shop for Melbourne,” said Rowland Thomson, one of Hares and Hyena’s owners.”

“Without the soundproofing getting done soon, there is a limited future for the venue for parties, bands and DJs and we see that as integral to our continued existence.

Co-owner Crusader Hills said the had long wanted to complete the soundproofing, but were never able to raise enough funds on their own.

“We therefore decided to use crowdfunding as the source for this work to be done,” he said.

“It’s a relatively small project in the scheme of things but will take a couple of weeks to complete.”

Before the campaign was launched, the owners approached supporters — especially artists, writers and customers — to see if they would be ambassadors for the campaign.

“We were overwhelmed by how many people responded and by the desire of individuals and groups to get behind us,” Thomson said.

“To date, we have about 150 people who have offered to be ambassadors for the campaign with more joining every day.”

A number of groups and organisations have also offered support for the campaign.

Next Saturday (November 15), Hares and Hyenas will host a fundraising performance party featuring several artists. All profits will go directly to the campaign.

To support the campaign, which ends November 30, click here.

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