Venues Closing

FritzDrummer

Senior Member
Wanted to find out about venues in other regions of the U.S. as well as other countries that are represented here. Within the last couple of weeks, two of Philadelphia's top music venues, Northstar Bar and the Legendary Dobbs, have both closed. Does anyone else see big name venues shutting down or being purchased and reopened as other types of nightlife spots? Northstar is supposedly being updated and reopened as a restaurant and bar. I'm about an hour an a half outside of philly but play in the city often and this is big news due to their history, unfortunately neither surprises me though. Is this happening near where everyone else is located as well?
 

geezer

Senior Member
Very much so in San Francisco - venues are either getting their rents raised exorbitantly or their building is getting sold and they're given the boot. Everything is being turned into condos for the rich tech workers who are flooding the city.
 

tcspears

Gold Member
New England is a mixed bag. There are clubs closing, but for the most part we're seeing a huge surge in clubs and restaurants, and a huge demand for live music acts. (I'm not saying they all pay). Many restaurants and clubs are going back to hiring live music at least 3 nights a week; some around me are even doing live music 7 nights a week...
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Very much so in San Francisco - venues are either getting their rents raised exorbitantly or their building is getting sold and they're given the boot. Everything is being turned into condos for the rich tech workers who are flooding the city.
Across the bay in Oakland, I still see packed venues, even for local bands. But yea, margins are tight, budgets are low, rents are high. One day I'm sure I'll drive by the Stork Club and the signs will be torn down. That will be a sad one.
 

FritzDrummer

Senior Member
I'm located in Harrisburg, PA and we have a few places that have live music all week long. Most are weekends only. The most annoying are the sports bars who try to have live music on weekends, so we come in and everyone is focused on the football/hockey/baseball game and just want to be able to hear that. These are the same venues that are not built for live music what so ever. They squeeze you in where a table use to be so you are still squeezed in between another two tables. We avoid them if at all possible.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I live in a college town tucked away in the mountains of NC. Up until the 1990's, there was a pretty decent music scene here. Now, while the venues are still there, there are no bands to play. I think they have DJ's on weekends now, and by DJ's, I mean they play MP3's sorta loud (no real DJ's that I know of).
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
In Portland many rock venues have closed over the past 5 years or so, but there's still a couple around.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
I live in a college town tucked away in the mountains of NC. Up until the 1990's, there was a pretty decent music scene here. Now, while the venues are still there, there are no bands to play. I think they have DJ's on weekends now, and by DJ's, I mean they play MP3's sorta loud (no real DJ's that I know of).
To quote Frank Zappa,DJ's are to musicians as fire hydrants are to dogs.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
Across the bay in Oakland, I still see packed venues, even for local bands. But yea, margins are tight, budgets are low, rents are high. One day I'm sure I'll drive by the Stork Club and the signs will be torn down. That will be a sad one.
Been to the new Leo's yet?
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Here in Seattle, it's been like Whack-A-Mole for as far back as I can remember - to about '90 when me and my bands first started playing out.

There always seems to be new places to play to counter all the venues that have closed. By now, it feels like the natural order of things, and whenever I hear of a place closing, I'm like, "Wow, I remember when they opened! Oh well, on to the next one."
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Even in Los Angeles, the so-called music capitol, has it's fair share of closing venues.

The world famous Coconut Teaszer has been gone a few years now. I used to gig there constantly back in my hey-day.

The Key Club (which used to be known as Billboard Live) shut down. That one shocked me. It was a great venue to play and to see bands.

The House of Blues is getting torn down to be a hotel.

I'm not sure what's going on with the Whiskey Ago-go, but it seems like management has really let that place go downhill.

There have been some other places that opened and closed quickly despite having good crowds on the nights I was there.

The Canyon Club in Agoura, which has taken over as a main venue for many national bands coming through town, drastically cut back their bar, which makes me wonder how much longer they have.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Very much so in San Francisco - venues are either getting their rents raised exorbitantly or their building is getting sold and they're given the boot. Everything is being turned into condos for the rich tech workers who are flooding the city.
I grew up in SF.

The clubs I went to in 88/89 were shut down and different than the venues I frequented in 93/94, which were then mostly gone when I would come back to visit in the late 90's.
 

tcspears

Gold Member
This article is specific to jazz clubs in Manhattan, but many cities around the country are seeing an influx of jazz venues, while some of the rock/alternative venues are closing down (usually due to gentrification). I'm getting jazz gigs in nice venues that are outside of the major cities, which never happened a few years ago. We're seeing really nice, high end venues opening up all over the northeast, and they all seem to be looking for live music.

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/oct/06/new-york-city-jazz-venues-gentrification-indie-clubs
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
To quote Frank Zappa,DJ's are to musicians as fire hydrants are to dogs.

Maybe so, but I think that there something to someone that's really great at turntables. The CDJ's just seem to make it all a little too easy as opposed to spinning records.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Been to the new Leo's yet?
Didn't know there was a new Leo's. They booking local acts? Might give em a jingle.

Edit: oh yea, I know that building. Used to be a run down audio equipment place that I never stopped at. Google street view shows it looks way better now.
 

geezer

Senior Member
Across the bay in Oakland, I still see packed venues, even for local bands. But yea, margins are tight, budgets are low, rents are high. One day I'm sure I'll drive by the Stork Club and the signs will be torn down. That will be a sad one.
Yeah, I read an interview with a young SF band recently where they were saying that they play all the "local" shows in Oakland since there's such a dearth of venues in SF.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Yeah, I read an interview with a young SF band recently where they were saying that they play all the "local" shows in Oakland since there's such a dearth of venues in SF.
It's so much easier, too. Getting into the city with Friday traffic, loading in literally from across the street, then parking 8 blocks away (looking at you, Milk Bar), etc.

Oakland is always like "park out front, load in, pull around to the side and you can stay there, security will watch your van!".

And like you say, Oak-town venues are actually still booking the local acts. Even the dirty punk and loud rock acts. I like it.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
It's so much easier, too. Getting into the city with Friday traffic, loading in literally from across the street, then parking 8 blocks away (looking at you, Milk Bar), etc.

Oakland is always like "park out front, load in, pull around to the side and you can stay there, security will watch your van!".

And like you say, Oak-town venues are actually still booking the local acts. Even the dirty punk and loud rock acts. I like it.
Exact opposite of my youth.

Oakland venues were drive thru a seedy area, hope you don't get shot, and avoid the large rats in the back stage area. Although I saw many shows there, and used to rehearse in Oakland all the time.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Exact opposite of my youth.

Oakland venues were drive thru a seedy area, hope you don't get shot, and avoid the large rats in the back stage area. Although I saw many shows there, and used to rehearse in Oakland all the time.
You won't catch me out in the industrial/ghetto areas... Most of the venues are more near downtown, telegraph, broadway/grand... Berkeley has lots of smaller places too. 15 years ago, maybe I wouldn't have been so comfortable, but downtown is pretty dang safe. Only thing I don't like is it's still full of thieves who love to hang around at load-out and see if anything gets un-attended for a quick grab. Last time we played stork there was a "gentleman" who stood just a bit away watching us load out very carefully. Not really a big deal. One guy stays with the truck and plays tetris, the other guys load out.
 
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