Saturday, April 24, 2010

924 Gilman Is In Trouble

924 Gilman St. is in trouble. On July 1, 2010 Gilman's rent will increase by nearly $3000.00 a month, jeopardizing the future of the club.

924 Gilman says
The club’s rent has been increasing every year for the last twenty three years, and up until now we’ve been able to make the adjustments needed to compensate for those increases, but what we are facing now is the equivalent of having twenty years of rent increases condensed into one, and once it goes into effect the clock will begin to tick away as we struggle to generate the extra $31,000.00 a year needed to cover this massive rent hike.


I have been regularly attending shows at 924 Gilman St. for 18 years. It has served as a geographic focal point in my life more than any other place. I would hate to see it go. Hell, I can't even imagine the Bay Area without it. Probably equally as scary is to see the club be forced to morph into something completely different than intended to survive.

This rent problem comes at a time when, it appears, show attendance is at a low. These things happen. Punk/hardcore seems to go in cycles and a lot of the fair weather kids leave and smaller groups of lifers carry on. Last time I heard about scary rent problems threatening Gilman, it was probably also during such a lull.

What if Gilman did close its doors? 924 Gilman opened with a purpose in a specific area that would allow the club to do its own thing. That area has completely transformed from an industrial wasteland into family friendly yuppie joints. The club has been forced to adapt on some levels. Does this mean punk and Gilman ought to find a different location? Would it make more sense to keep it real in another abandoned area of the Bay Area and carry on in a similar spirit?

Is punk even sustainable at this point? The world is completely different than it was in the 80's and I don't see the influx of young blood into the scene that used to be common. I don't know if there is another scene or genre that is the same thing punk was in 1982. The world and the internet have destroyed what once made underground scenes so vibrant and essential. All this is not to say that us lifers need a place too. We do. Gilman, in many ways, is the center of our community and I would be heartbroken to see it go away.


Blogger frank austin said...

Maybe if the morons booking shows stopped booking 5,6,7,8+ bands at a time, Gilman would have fewer people to pay out and more people would go. I stopped going to shows because I got sick of everything being a fucking fest.

I'd be more than happy to pay more at the door for Gilman shows. They sound excellent and the venue is nearly perfect.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Max Montez said...

The amount of bands doesn't effect how much the club takes. It's always 50/50.

8:58 AM  
Blogger xDustinx said...

The notion of a 'subculture' has no place for the generation following ours, and so I wonder if the venues catering to those subcultures are going to disappear. How bleak that would be! Who knew that we might be dinosaurs, and that having a live, underground show would come to be seen as "passe" or 'clinging to the past' in the eyes of GenY!

12:05 PM  
Blogger shane said...

I keep wondering "what if Gilman raised door prices to $15? 20?", "what if Gilman took more than 50% of the door?", or what else Gilman could do to consistently generate enough money to offset the rent?

To survive this, Gilman seriously needs a finance wizard. The type of people I work with everyday in an office. The type of people who, most likely, have nothing to do with punk. And they would probably have to pay this wizard (unless the rare punk accounting/finance wizard shows up... or is donated by Green Day). All finances and the important model of operations would have to be reviewed. Only then could a proposal be put forth that would give a model for Gilman's survival.

I just can't believe that punks can consistently DONATE enough funds to indefinitely offset this rent increase.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Max Montez said...

Gilman is working on getting official non-profit status which would make the club eligible for grants. There's definitely been talk of "hiring" a grant-writer too.

9:07 AM  
Blogger shane said...

Hey Max,
Not only am I glad you read my blog but I am glad someone can offer some actual insider info to our speculative banter.

5:28 PM  

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