Articles from the Boston Compass, Boston Compass, Compass Editorial

The Great (DIY) Venue Hunt 2015


The amount of radical, under-the-radar bands starting in and coming to our region has increased dramatically in the past year, as has the need for more DIY venues. Read into the acronym however you like, but when I say DIY, I am talking about an alternative to the institutionalized and sanctioned performance spaces known as “bars” and “clubs.” By and large, these places exist to serve their owners and operators, not the community that fills their space (or avoids it) on a nightly basis. It may seem sad, but it is in line with the sad state of the modern world; a place where money equals means. Money is a part of life you can’t really get away from, but you can fight back against its nastiness and spit in its ugly face. If we band together as a united front, WE—the alternative communities that believe in advancing the culture of the outsider, could actually give these bars and clubs a run for their . . . uh . . . ahem, you know.

Here’s the proposition: Discover/cultivate an alternative performance space and either share that information with a show-throwing friend or just Do It Yourself! Galleries are often a good look, because they’re already an outlet for artists. See if your local gallery would host a music show or a film screening. Talk to your boss about using that empty office or showroom for a pop-up art show or intimate performance. Stop into that tire shop on your block and see if the owners would be interested in hosting a daytime  BBQ and show some afternoon. Who knows, maybe they hate The Man, too. Remember to explain how organized our communities are and how serious we are about our culture and respecting the spaces that are willing to host our various endeavors. Spaces like Video Underground, Out of the Blue Too, the Lilypad, Green City Growers, dozens of churches, private residences, VFW halls, and other alternative spaces have all taken the plunge and stooped to our level. Let’s keep asking. Let’s ask every business in the city if they want to be part of this cultural movement. The worst they can say is “no.” —Sam Potrykus

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