So I found out about a “family reunion” for the now-closed music venue where I worked for 10 years. How I found out about it - and how many of the family found out - pissed off a bunch of people. There was a social media blast from a LiveNation venue with a link to Ticketmaster to buy tickets. My wife, in a particularly Redheaded moment, lost her shit for about 15 seconds.
[former manager], we love you, but seeing this event left me with a sick, sad feeling in my belly. I was a member of the music hall family for the better part of a decade. I definitely understand the anger felt by people who struggled to keep it afloat even after it became the pet project of a well-off metalhead who didn’t know how to run a music venue.
A lot of people poured their passion into that place. Hopes and dreams were realized on its stage. Love was found on its floor. Music fans got to see amazing bands on their way to stardom. Hardcore kids practiced their Karate and Jiu-Jitsu moves. Jared Leto kicked [head of security]. Many of us went home, late at night, worn out and sweaty, and sometimes dyed an unnatural shade of purple, not for the money but for the music.
Seeing a “reunion,” for the place that so many amateurs got their first chance at a paid gig - advertised at a corporate venue seems cheap and disingenuous. It feels inauthentic. And seeing a cover charge makes it feel like a crass, shameless cash grab.
Then finding out only after the uproar on the event page, that the cover would be waived for staff, seemed contrived.
I’m not trying to paint the past with the rosy hues of nostalgia. We both know there were a lot of nights that really, really sucked. But what endured there was that the crew was family.
This event, to the people who poured their blood, sweat, and tears into keeping a rickety old shampoo factory open so that bands had a place to play, feels like the family reunion was planned by the crazy uncle who nobody hears from anymore.
I understand what you were trying to do. But you went about it in the exact wrong way.
Of course, this got a ton of hate from friends of the guy who got burned out, waffled on selling the place, and then basically screwed over the people who were in there every day running the place.
People are stupid.