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The story from the Tote.

Have too many of need money now payday do so.
Have too many of need money now payday do so.

A man walked into a bar…


Actually, he phoned.  Late Tuesday last week. 

"There's a problem with your license…"


And boy have we been on a bit of a rollercoaster since then.  Though there haven't been any up moments. 


When I took over as Nominee of the Tote two years ago, I lodged a form of approval with Liquor Licensing.  But I didn't lodge a separate form for approval of myself as Director.  It was an oversight that Liquor Licensing just picked up on.  Trouble is the Tote couldn't trade until it was sorted out.  Which threw everyone here into a panic. Though I relaxed a bit when our solicitor said it wasn't an uncommon problem and it usually took about 24 hours to fix.  Since then I have believed the call would come through at any moment.  Our solicitor was also confident.  Yesterday, I stopped believing.  The crippling financial pressure of not being able to trade was too great.


I always thought that if the Tote had to close one day, it would be with a bang.  But last night, I called the staff together to let them know that we couldn't survive another weekend without trading and that the era of the Tote was over.  They were told they were out of work.  There wasn't much of a party atmosphere.  I drank a bottle of shitty moscato that that no customer had ever been silly enough to order.


This morning, Liquor Licensing approved me as director of the company.  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.


We're back in business.


I apologize to all the Tote staff and what they've been through.  The manager, Reggie, and the booker, Amanda (who only started a few weeks ago), are human wrecks.  The 20 or so part-timers (bar staff, door staff, cleaners, etc) have been without work for over a week.  There is a dusty tip jar on the bar that could use some loving.


I apologize to the 32 bands that have had gigs pulled.  We will do our best to make it up to you.  We apologize to 100+ bands that had future gigs booked at the Tote.  Last night they were told future gigs were cancelled.  


I apologize to the 100s of punters that have turned up expecting to see some bands and found a closed door.


There is no handbook that tells you how to handle these situations but we genuinely tried hard to inform people of what was going on.  And we will genuinely try to make up for any mistakes we've made.


I reckon the punishment The Tote experienced was a little harsh but I'm not an expert in these things.    


Thanks to everyone that has offered support over this past week or so.  As corny as it sounds, it has meant a tremendous amount.  The best way to help us push forward is to come and see some bands and have a beer.


In case I haven't made it clear enough – the Tote is open.  Every day except Mondays.


Bruce Milne

Nominee (and now approved Director)

The Tote

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