In October 2016, Brooklyn DIY hot-spot Market Hotel closed its doors until further notice following a surprise raid during a complicated liquor permit process. Recently, another longstanding New York DIY institution, Shea Stadium, closed because of increased visits, and therefore fines, from the NYPD.
"After increasing pressure from the local authorities it's no longer sustainable for us to continue to operate the way we have over the past 8 years," Shea's proprietors, Adam Reich, Nora Dabdoub, and Luke Chiaruttini wrote in a Facebook post on March 9. "Continuing to stack up the inevitable, and frankly expensive, fines while having to navigate the vast bureaucracy of N.Y.C. is no longer feasible for us."
Shea Stadium is beloved in the rock community for giving young bands a space to both play and record — Modern Baseball, Pinegrove, PWR BTTM, Mitski, Whitney, Alex G, and Blood Orange among them. Since its closure, musicians and patrons have been reviewing the venue as "a home to an ever-expanding community," "a real hub of acceptance, art and community," and "a very important safe space in a frightening time."
The goal now, like Market Hotel did when it initially reopened in 2016, is to renovate and become totally up to code. To do that, they need money, so they started a Kickstarter. "[Shea] is under threat from a variety of governmental and political factors," they wrote. "We want to make Shea a completely legal, 100% permitted venue to protect its future." (During the writing of this post, they reached their $50,000 goal — but keep donating, because every bit counts.)
Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, comedian Chris Gethard, Greta Kline of Frankie Cosmos, and Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis all make appearances in the video above, touting Shea's significance in the scene. It's been feeling as though spaces like Shea Stadium are under attack these days — at a time when we need them most, nonetheless. Let's protect them, however we can.