This is an archive of memorabilia related to Arc Cafe and Arclife Records, which closed in the late 2000s.
Formed with the aim of fostering music, art and alternative cultures in Dunedin, Arc Cafe opened its doors to the public on 20 June 1997 and became something of a hub for a vibrant and diverse local community. Offering free internet and authentic local culture, the cafe buzzed even in Dunedin’s sleepy summer months. Being non exclusive and welcoming of all, Arc attracted a broad cross-section of Dunedin and visitors from around the world to its coffee, teas, legendary vegetarian and vegan food, and relaxed, warm environment; a huge open fire, vibrant gallery space, a good library of books and magazines and of course, live music and performances.
Despite the huge efforts of so many amazing people, over the years Arc struggled, changed hands once or twice, and eventually ended up going under . It was not tidy. Many supporters ended up significantly out of pocket and the Arc community was torn apart.
You might ask if it was worth it – and who can say? What we do know is that Arc hosted more than two thousand nights of live music, released 20 albums and added something a bit special to the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
This archive is maintained by Elliott Young, one of the original founders of Arc Cafe and Arclife. If you have any photos or other material please add them here.
All music available for download from the archive has been explicitly approved by the musicians concerned.
There is also a companion Facebook page for the archive.