Che Cafe to Remain Open

    In response to these financial problems, the Ché Café Collective, which consists of volunteers and core members responsible for booking shows, organized two benefit blogs to fundraise for the insurance costs. The members also organized the “Ché Café Benefit Concert — I Promise” festival, which took place Jan. 6 to Jan. 8 and hosted 24 bands over the three days.

    Core collective member Rene Vera said that the organization has always struggled to pay insurance costs, but the $12,000 should be enough to cover insurance for another year.

    “The big show that pulled us through was the benefit show in early January,” Vera said. “Up until that point, we were only halfway through our goal.”

    Vera said that half the money came from benefit shows, and the other half from direct donations obtained through the blog. 

    “There were so many people reaching out to us from across the country and other countries: people who had been to a show in the past and wanted to see it stay open,” Vera said. “I think it really showed that people do care about the Ché.”

    Collective member Greg Prout said that the Café’s financial problems started with a brief insurance lapse a couple of years ago.

    “The person who was supposed to pick up the mail just stopped picking it up, so we stopped getting the bills,” Prout said in an Sept. 19 article in the San Diego Union Tribune.

    The group’s financial problems increased when a 2010 burglary set the Café back $5,000 after stolen equipment had to be replaced.

    The Ché is one of five UCSD co-ops. Sarah Latoski, a recent graduate who was a member of the collective for over three years, told the Union Tribune that the venue opened in 1966 as a coffee hut and received its current name, Ché Café, in 1980 when it became a student-run organization.

    “It was a vegetarian cafe,” Latoski said. “It also was a safe space for radical politics to be practiced.”

    Notable acts that have played the venue over the years include Bright Eyes, Billy Corgan, Animal Collective, Jimmy Eat World and Green Day.

    The Che is continuing to book musical acts, and will host five bands on March 25.

    Groups scheduled to perform include local act “Griever,” “Gagakirise” from Japan and “Bitches” from the U.K.

    Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Life Gary Ratcliff could not be reached for comment as of press time.

    Note: This corrects an earlier version of the article which incorrectly stated that the group received $9,000 in donations from the benefit blogs.

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