This is a gut punch. I've known these were going to go up for awhile and the reality didn't truly hit me until I saw it. This is as scary as it gets for me. It really has the chance to go away if we don't all act today. Go to https://t.co/hg0S5EYvS6 to help. #saveourstageswa pic.twitter.com/GXxldZKi1O
— Steven Severin (@thechimp43) October 14, 2020
That Notice of Proposed Land Use Action sign that has gone up outside Neumos is, fortunately for Capitol Hill music lovers, only a warning.
They’re going up across the city outside the Tractor Tavern, El Corazon, Central Saloon, Wild Buffalo, Jazz Bones and more of Seattle’s remaining live music venues.
But fortunately, nobody has decided to sell out and redevelop the corner of 10th and E Pike — yet.
“These signs are a call to action for the public, designed to raise awareness about the stark reality that permanent closure of these venues could occur if we do not, as a community, come together to keep music live,” write backers of a campaign to support Neumos and the rest of the live music scene in Seattle and across the state.
Keep Music Live launched this week to raise funds “to save hometown, community-based music venues.” You can learn more and donate at keepmusiclivewa.com.
Keep Music Live co-chairs include Grammy award-winning artist Sir Mix-A-Lot, community leader Jill Singh, and Scott Redman, CEO of Sellen Construction. Board Members for Keep Music Live include: President: Manny Cawaling, Executive Director at Inspire Washington; Vice-President: Holly Hinton, Director of Music and Artists Partnerships at Starbucks; Secretary: Karen Loria, Operations Manager at Vitalogy Foundation; Treasurer: Mary Cadera, former Chief of Staff at Vulcan Inc.; Cedric Walker and Eva Walker, founders/twin sibling musicians of The Black Tones; Craig Jewell, Owner of Wild Buffalo House of Music in Bellingham; and Ginger Ewing, co-founder of Spokane-based Terrain.
In Seattle, the message behind the mock land use signs is stark — if these businesses go under, organizers from the involved clubs say, they won’t be replaced with new venues — “they’ll replaced by developments most likely,” Leigh Sims, publicist and part of the ownership at Pike/Pines Life on Mars, tells CHS. “We’re also putting up missing posters for live music,” Sims writes.
CHS reported here on the challenges the Hill’s live music venues have faced during COVID-19 restrictions and their uncertain path to recovery.
With nearly 30 years since its start as Moe’s Mo’Roc’N Café in an old Salvation Army at the corner of 10th and Pike, Neumos faces an uncertain future. But its fortunes appear a little better than most. The building it calls home is co-owned by Neumos partner and longtime neighborhood investor Jerry Everard.
The Neumos stage has been quiet for months but this weekend will bring a momentary burst of activity. Friday, Neumos will host a livestream performance from Capitol Hill’s own Macklemore as a part of the nationwide #SOSFest. “Independent venues like ours are fighting for survival, and you can help #SaveOurStages by subscribing and streaming on @YouTubeMusic this weekend,” Neumos says about the show.
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