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How to save Seattle’s beloved music venues from certain death

Photo by Tyler Hill | www.tylerhillphoto.com — at Q Nightclub.
Photo by Tyler Hill | www.tylerhillphoto.com — at Q Nightclub.

Seattle’s best music venues are asking for help. Most will not survive without it. You can help them survive the COVID-19 disaster by sharing your story.

Owners of clubs and concert venues have joined forces under WANMA: Washington Nightlife & Music Association. Together, they’re fighting for their lives. Visit the WANMA site here for important details on how to help.

The situation in Seattle has even caught the attention of Billboard.com. Read what they have to say here.

Washington senators and representatives will decide whether or not for-profit music venues, such as Neumos, Chop Suey, and Q Nightclub, will receive desperately-needed assistance. Email and call today to share your support.

“King County has some funding for cultural institutions and WE NEED YOU to contact your County Reps IMMEDIATELY and let them know that music venues need their immediate help by directing that funding to music venues despite being for profit businesses. Many venues CANNOT survive due to high rents & expenses that we’re shouldering while venues are closed.” –Washington Nightlife & Music Association

For more information, visit the WANMA site by clicking here.

Why I’m asking you to help these venues

My name is Casey Grosso. I volunteer as a staff writer for DMNW, and work as a freelance video production professional. I’ve worked on music videos for local bands, such as The Classic Crime and Smokey Brights.

I grew up in Bellingham, Washington. In high school, my fellow classmates and I frequently drove down to Seattle for all-ages shows. The first concert I drove down for was LMFAO at Key Arena back in 2012. Concerts and festivals drew me to the city, and I decided to attend the University of Washington.

Once I moved to Seattle, I was hooked on the music scene here. The first time I ever rode a city bus was to see Modest Mouse at the Paramount. In the past five years since then, I’ve been to countless shows and venues. I’ve seen friends and family perform and discovered new music. I’ve even photographed some of my favorite artists in action.

Manatee Commune performs at Neumos

A photo I took of Manatee Commune performing at Neumos

Graduating from University was scary. I had no idea what to do with my life. Music, as always, was my beacon. I started volunteering at MoPOP (formerly the Experience Music Project), where they display music videos on a larger-than-life 33′ by 60′ HD LED screen.

Then, I volunteered at KEXP during their fall fundraising drive. I’ll never forget that day. I was answering phones, and taking down donor information. Alda Agustiano called to make a donation. With sweaty hands and a shaky voice, I said, “Oh, Chong the Nomad?” Her voice had a smile in it. “Haha, yeah that’s me.”

I knew then that Seattle was my home. This woman, the volunteers around me, the DJs on the radio, every person in the Seattle music scene was, in some way, my family. Venues are an integral part of that. Without shows, I would have never even moved to Seattle.

If small music venues close, it would be like a death in the family. Due to our ongoing stay-at-home order, these venues simply won’t be able to make ends meet without assistance.

Your story matters

As fans of the music, we may not always feel like we can make a difference, but we truly can. By chance, I helped facilitate a remarkable interaction when a young, up-and-coming artist gave back to a radio station that supported her.

Now, more than ever, you can help too! We matter. Our stories matter. Even if you don’t work in the music industry, I urge you to call your representatives and share your story.  If Seattle’s music scene has touched your life in some way, let them know.

We can help save Seattle’s best music venues before it’s too late.

Contact your King County reps now:

King County Executive Dow Constantine: kcexec@kingcounty.gov

King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles: jeanne.kohl-welles@kingcounty.gov

(202) 224-3121

You can also help by signing this petition.

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Written By

Seattle based work in progress

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Arlene Jean

    May 7, 2020 at 7:31 am

    Although I live in Florida I have nephews that performed at a small venue in Seattle. Your city embraced them and their talent! Please help all your local and visiting musicians realize their dream of performing!
    Seattle’s music scene is a big reason to visit this city.
    This article is compelling and drew me in! Thank you

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