THUMP is tracking music venue closures across the US as part of a year-long project documenting the impact of Oakland's deadly Ghost Ship fire on the country's music scene. You can see the map here.
On December 2, 2016, a deadly blaze broke out at the Ghost Ship live/work space in Oakland, claiming 36 lives.
The tragedy exposed the vulnerability of Oakland's DIY community, as well as the country's underground music scene at large. In the weeks following the fire, underground musicians and DIY artists feared a crackdown on their homes and performance spaces. While Oakland officials have taken steps to protect people in live/work spaces and open up dialogue about safety between artist community and the city, the fallout has raised concerns across America about a wide-scale targeting of music venues.
As THUMP has learned, this is already happening. Buildings across the country, from Baltimore to Denver, were shut down by the authorities in the weeks following the Ghost Ship fire, displacing tenants and closing down vital underground arts spaces.
Starting today, and for the remainder of 2017, THUMP will be tracking music venue closures across the country. The project, The Oakland Effect, seeks to gauge the impact of the Oakland tragedy on the policing of nightlife, and to take the temperature of our nation's live music culture on the whole. We'll be tracking which venues are being shut down and where, the reasons for these closures, and the legal and economic challenges that rendered it too difficult for them to go on. Along the way, we'll tell the stories of these venue, and of the people who ran them and, in some cases, called them home.
THUMP is asking readers to submit information on any venues in the US they know to have closed for a period of a month or more. You can do so via the anonymous form below.