Compilation album to raise funds to save Forest music venue

MUSICIANS who have performed in an under-threat city venue have joined forces to produce a fundraising album in a bid to save it from closure.

Popular arts venue the Forest Cafe faces an uncertain future after its owner, Edinburgh University Settlement (EUS), went bankrupt and the building was placed on the market.

Employees, volunteers and customers have launched a campaign to buy the building, which is being sold for around 1 million.

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To help their campaign, a group of musicians have produced the Ultrachip vs Forest Closure compilation, with all proceeds from the 5 album going into the fundraising bid.

The artists all performed at the Forest, in Bristo Place, in August at a two-day festival called Ultrachip.

Michael Cox, AKA Comptroller, one of the artists behind the album, said: "We contacted all the artists who performed at the Forest, who were all happy to donate a track.

"In most cases the tracks are exclusive to the compilation to provide a better incentive for people to buy it.

"This is a good example of how much people care about the Forest.

"There's lots of different groups of people in different creative areas who are indebted to the Forest. The fact that they allowed us to have the venue during the height of the Edinburgh Festival for free is quite unique. I can't imagine anywhere else that would have done that."

Chris Palmer, co-founder of the Forest Cafe and one of the acts who has donated a track, said: "A big part of our campaign is just saying that anybody can do anything to try to help us.

"Whether it's trying to build the biggest snowman in the world or putting together a compilation, it doesn't matter, we just want to try to raise awareness and financial support. Everyone in the Forest is really appreciative of this effort, it's super."

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Campaigners fighting to save the Forest are calling for artists to donate some of their work for an art sale at the venue on December 11 and 12.

Anyone willing to donate their work should mark it "everything must go" and post it to the venue or hand it in to one of the staff members.

The EUS charity, which operated a number of community learning programmes and commercial enterprises including the Roxy Art House, has made most of its 40 staff redundant and has not even paid them for the last month they worked.

The Forest Cafe had been leasing the building from EUS for a number of years.

Staff have set up a donation page on

To buy the album, visit