East London Food & Culture

Luna Lounge E11

Why we must save Luna – a true Leytonstone gem

E11's seminal music venue simply must continue to exist. Here's how you can help

Lord knows how much we love Church Lane’s grassroots music venue Luna. Ever since I moved to the area back in the teens I’ve drifted there of many an evening, especially after dinner at, say, Panda or (back then) District. And I still regularly visit now.

Luna Lounge
Music is always high quality – and free. Photo: SE

Founded twenty years ago in 2004 by Suja, who sadly passed away during the pandemic, it’s a quirky, homely space, hosting over 400 gigs annually and providing a crucial platform for emerging artists. “All the furniture was built by Suja,” says current owner Declan Walsh. “Our floor was reclaimed from the old Woolworths shelving next door and it was painstakingly laid by him and his friends.”

Entrance is always free, the music’s always high quality – even if it’s not our specific thing sometimes – and the vibes are friendly, a little boozy and always brilliant.

Over the years the spirit of the place has only grown as Leytonstone finds itself more on the map with hip nearby arrivals such as Homies On Donkeys, Filly Brook and the rise and rise of the mighty Singburi. Top dim sum joint Aquila is also literally next door.


Luna Lounge Leytonstone
Summertime at Luna. Photo: SE

So this recent news is tough. In a heartfelt plea to the community, Declan and his team have launched the “Save Luna” fundraiser campaign to secure its future.

He says Luna urgently needs £75,000 to address immediate debts, conduct essential maintenance and building work, and transition to a Community Interest Company (CIC) to ensure long-term sustainability. The funds will be used to modernize the venue, improve soundproofing, enhance energy efficiency, and become a thriving community hub during the day. As regulars know, Luna’s significance extends beyond music, helping to foster connections and create a vibrant community space.

Furthermore, Luna earnt Time Out awards in 2015, 2016, and 2018. Suja’s unexpected passing left Luna at risk of closure, but the team fought to keep the doors open. And now rising costs, rent arrears, and outdated infrastructure genuinely threaten its existence.

Contributions will preserve this cultural landmark but also support the community. “Luna’s transformation into a CIC will enable it to officially give back to the community through music and learning programmes,” says Declan. “The venue will continue to be a haven for artists, offering a space for growth, performance, and community building.”

Live music every night. Photo: SE

The “Save Luna” campaign is an all-or-nothing effort. If the target of £75,000 is not reached, Luna’s future is uncertain, and all donations will be returned.

“There is no place like Luna,” says owner Declan, “it’s more than just a music venue. Music is of course at its core but Luna is a community. We, like many venues in our sector, are at a critical point, and to save Luna we need to turn to our community for help – to preserve this amazing space.”

Join the cause to support Luna’s future: visit the fundraising campaign HERE and share the message across social media using the hashtag #SaveLuna. Find Luna at 7 Church Lane E11 1HG, follow @lunalivemusic_

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