Around Town: DC’s Empty Stages by Ben Eisendrath

Lincoln_Frozen
The Lincoln Theatre stands in silence in this stark photo by Ben Eisendrath. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath/ Instagram+Twitter: Insomnigraphic/ GrillworksBen)

Ben Eisendrath has one of the greatest assets of a photographer: a persistent curiosity.

When Ben carries a lens, he is intently searching for something to capture. You can see it in his eyes: What’s that guy’s story? What’s happening here? Or in this case, what’s behind those closed doors?

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Around Town: DC Clubs and Bars Can Reopen June 11

Mayor Muriel Bowser
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser participates in the annual Funk Parade in 2018. (Photo by Joe Flood)

In a press conference today, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced she would lift reopening restrictions on the city’s nightclubs and bars on June 11.

The city will continue to enforce the wearing of masks to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus after that date, but otherwise bars and clubs can choose to open and return to normal operations.

Planning for most national concert tours are still underway, so Parklife does not expect to see consistent bookings at most music venues until later this summer. Still, this is welcome news indeed!

Around Town: Congress Passes #SaveOurStages Act

Schumer
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) calls for support for music venues outside Brookyn’s Baby’s All Right on Aug. 18, 2020. (Photo courtesy NIVA)

Congress on Monday passed a pandemic relief bill that includes $15 billion for independent venues and promotors, providing a vital lifeline to music venues such as DC’s 9:30 Club, Black Cat, DC9, and others.

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Poll: What Is the Best Music Venue in DC for 2020?

Grott @ SO36 - 40 Years
A band on stage! (Photo by Montecruz Foto)

Welcome to the 2020 Thrushie Awards!

Parklife DC will name the DC best local music venue of the year with your input. The Thrushie Awards are open to DC-area music venues that host touring bands. These venues must be occupied by its owner-operator and not a “for-rent” concert hall operated by an independent agent.

Learn more about each nominee by clicking on their name in keywords. Or name your own candidate!

Vote for the best music local music venue in the DC metro area now through Dec. 11.

Around Town: Farewell, U Street Music Hall

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Walking up to U Street Music Hall (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Today, U Street Music Hall announced it is closing its doors effectively immediately due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Although primarily a DJ club, Parklife DC covered a number of exciting live shows at U Hall, as it was affectionately known. For much of its 10-year run, U Street Music Hall hit the sweet spot as a space for upcoming touring bands with its 500-person capacity and easily accessible location.

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Around Town: Campaign to Pass DC Music Venue Relief Legislation

Tedd Baker, saxophone and Gavin Fallow, bassThe Paul Pieper Quartet perform at the now-shuttered Twins Jazz in 2012. (Photo by Timothy Forbes)

A coalition of DC musicians and music advocates launched a grassroots campaign recently to advocate for government relief of the city’s music venues. The #SaveDCVenues campaign, which has accrued hundreds of signers within a few days, urges the DC Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser to adopt a version of the 2020 DC Music Venue Relief Act: a piece of draft legislation that provides direct relief to businesses who rely upon (now-absent) revenue from live music.

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Around Town: Senate Heavy Hitters Back Coronavirus Relief for Music Venues

The Honorable John Cornyn (R-Texas) of the U.S. Senate
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) speaks to the Brookings Institution in 2016. (Photo courtesy Brookings Institution)

U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) last week introduced the Save Our Stages Act, which would provide Small Business Administration grants for independent live music venue operators affected by COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. These grants would provide six months of financial support to keep venues afloat, pay employees, and preserve a critical economic sector for communities across America.

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Required Reading: What I’m Missing Without Live Music

The Birchmere
The Birchmere is among the DC-area music venues closed by the covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Dan Reed)

Required Reading is Parklife DC’s essay series on music appreciation.

Music provides more to its fans than just entertainment. Live shows provide community. They are places where people who share an interest can come together. Losing live music during this pandemic has stripped away my primary outlet for socialization.

I have Autism Spectrum Disorder. Socializing and relationships do not come easily for me. I struggle to make smalltalk. My affect strikes a lot of people as “off.”

Of the many communities where I’ve dipped my toes, none has proved as supportive and welcome as music and music fandom. I can relate to fellow music fans on the basis of a shared interest, which makes me feel comfortable and confident in that setting. I’m even appreciated and respected for my encyclopedic knowledge.

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