Venue Spotlight: Black Lodge
In this new Distinction Music Management series, we explore local music venues that have left a lasting impact on their communities and leave memories for concert goers. Exploring the pure magic that certain music venues hold and what we hope for the future of this brick and mortar spaces. Dive in to unknown spaces and celebrate giants venues in this new Venue Spotlight Series.
DIY spaces aren't anything new, but long-lasting ones are hard to come by. The sheer accomplishment of holding onto a secret this long to ensure the music space stays running deserves an award. That's why Black Lodge is the first to come to mind when thinking of long running and successful DIY spaces. Located at [ REDACTED ASK YOUR LOCAL PUNK ] the Black Lodge isn't your typical basement affair, it is quite more sophisticated in a sense. Like those platform Chuck Taylor's you own, once beautiful and pristine but now has a bit of life and grit to them. You can see the long history that the venue has lived and not just because your shoes stick to the floor- there really are old souls attached to the music haven. You feel it in the air as soon as you huddle in from the Seattle cold.
When you walk through its wide hallway, it feels as if it was made for merch-slingers. The open and long space holds handmade silk screen prints and screen printed tees along its walls. As merch tables pushed together so do adoring fans and friends helping one another out by shelling out $5 bills and posting Instagram stories admiring the artwork. This ritual is formed in huddles by all parties and it's beautiful to watch. If you're ever awaiting to use the restroom, peak over your shoulder and just look at the gathering occurring, it's quite heart warming. Plus it takes your mind off needing to piss really badly. Many venues don't have designated areas or even helpful spaces for artists to showcase their merchandise. By creating an area dedicated to this practice that not only serves it's purpose but truly molds new friends with old is intentional and needed to sustain a caring arts community.
Like all DIY venues, aesthetic makes the space. Don't let the "don't care attitude" of your local hipster fool you, people love a brand baby and even The Black Lodge has one. The difference between a hipster Pinterest board and The Black Lodge is the walls. Covered by local artists and concert-goers, its natural collage is a testament to the values of the venue. Whether you accidentally stole the merch human's sharpie (not cool) or want a chance to share your art, there is a space on the wall for you. You quite literally have a chance to leave your mark.
Cultivated miniature spaces within the venue and it's long history of art splashed across the walls aren't the only things that make The Black Lodge special, it's the people that run the show. Whoever you are or whoever you were, building a community is no easy feat. Continuing to run a space successfully is the part of the battle no one tells you about, keeping your secret safe but wanting to share it to ensure art thrives in your tech dystopia is nothing short of a miracle. Somehow, its happening and the venue is thriving. From local bands to national touring acts everyone has a chance to showcase themselves on that homemade stage. There's opportunity at The Black Lodge for people, everything from volunteering your time at the merch table or the door to meeting new faces and sharing your world with strangers. Magic occurs in spaces that are filled with love. Without a doubt The Black Lodge possesses that positive energy. You just have to walk in to experience it.
If you love your community as much as we do check out local shows at The Black Lodge on Facebook and hopefully we will see you this Friday at The Seattle Freeze Fest to celebrate the unique space!