Independent music venues come and go, but the past year has been particularly turbulent for people who treasure seeing live music in friendly spaces — Palisades was shut down by the city for building code violations, an alcohol licensing issue is preventing the renovated Market Hotel from hosting shows, and Don Pedro’s is closing after 16 years. Shea Stadium, located on an industrial block in Bushwick, has survived since 2009, but the venue has had to abruptly close twice in the first three months of 2017, citing “increasing pressure from the local authorities.” Shea now says they intend to re-open this year as a legit venue with all the proper paperwork, but they need your help to get it done.
Naturally, the venue has registered a Kickstarter with the goal of raising $50,000.
“Raising these funds will help us acquire all the necessary permits and renovations needed to make Shea more visible and more accessible,” the venue’s organizers said in a statement. “You’d help Shea pay for: renovations to pass inspection by the Dept of Buildings, FDNY and Dept of Health ($20,000), architect fees for drafting plans and filing permits ($13,000), fire safety training ($1,000), health and bar permits ($7,000), legal fees ($14,000).”
The group said they began receiving fines from the city in January: “While there were no vacate orders given and our building was not condemned or deemed unsafe, shows were interrupted, shut down and rescheduled. We chose to close preemptively to prevent racking up more expensive fines and risking more serious repercussions.”
In a town where many venues are owned by one of two corporate conglomerates, places like Shea — where you can toss your coat on a natty couch, grab a cheap drink, and commune with a few dozen people — are precious. Shea also records every show, and have amassed 10,000 songs from more than a thousand artists. You can listen to them all for free.
“Since day one, we’ve put artists first. We’ve always operated at the lowest possible overhead to maximize profits not for ourselves but for the struggling musicians, artists, and comedians who come through our doors,” the venue said.
“Now Shea needs the help of its community, and we have no doubt our followers, friends, and fans will do what they do best: when one of us falls, we pick each other up.”
And those gnarly couches?
“There’s no governmental body in the world strong enough to pry those awful couches out of our hands,” a Shea rep responded.
You can donate to their Kickstarter here.
UPDATE: As of 1:15 p.m., Shea’s Kickstarter has raised $51,477 and counting.