La Crosse, Wisconsin’s historic music venue, the Warehouse, is in trouble. Serious trouble. In short, after 22 years of hosting over 8,000 local, regional and national bands the Warehouse (always all ages and no alcohol, never “pay to play”) is in very real danger of being turned into condos. Watch the video or visit their IndieGoGo campaign to learn more.
The IndieGoGo campaign is gaining momentum with support from bands of numerous genres, including members of Chemlab, Everclear, Martin Atkins (Killing Joke, Pigface, The Damage Manual), All American Rejects, the Descendants, Left Spine Down, GoFight, Four Letter Lie and more. You can read some quotes below. Locally, City Pages music blog Gimme Noise have published an article in support of the Warehouse.
Band support has helped, but there is still a long way to go. The IndieGoGo campaign marks one of 2 things: a 60 day countdown to the end of the Warehouse, or the beginning of two more decades of providing an all-ages alcohol-free concert space. Please help spread the word using tag #savethewarehouse and please also consider contributing to the campaign. Perks range in price and include naming rights to the main room, purchasing one of the venue’s historic 49 steps, Jane Harm’s famous chocolate chip cookies, and several fantastic, limited edition t-shirts.
Jared Louche, CHEMLAB
This venue’s one of the most important places for independant bands in the country and has been for over 20 years. Chemlab played there more times than I can count, mis-spending much of our fabled youth there rocking out and freaking out under the graces of Stephen Harm and his coterie of incredibly supportive and hungry-for-action employees like Nick Wilhelmy, and enjoying the sick pleasures of some excellent local disturbed noise like Zero Dark 30 (who never got the exposure they deserved, of course). We were always greeted on the street by a band of kids ready, snow or sweat, to hump our ridiculously heavy gear with us up every band’s arch nemesis: those endless fucking flights of eye-wateringly near-vertical stairs. The stage is wide and deep and not too high so I could always caress the glory faces that I’d soon be screaming in, steal people’s cigarettes and dance with total abandon in and amongst the audience knowing that I was in a place that “got” us. The Warehouse, Steve and Co. dug us from very early on, and it was one of the places that did so long before most other places outside the Midwest. The Midwest was years ahead of the rest of the country in swallowing everything we had to deliver, and so we spent a lot of time playing in places like the Warehouse and the Lizard Lounge in Grande Rapids. That a place like this, that’s supportive of the local scene, alcohol-free and hungry to keep doing what it’s been doing for years is in danger is Art Crime.
PLEASE send whatever you can to help support them and keep them from being sold to the soulless developers.
Greg Eklund, drummer, EVERCLEAR 1994-2003
I joined EVERCLEAR 2 years after the band had formed. In the early days of my touring with them, still playing small bars, etc., after a bad show…Art & Craig would tell me “Just wait ’til we get to La Crosse and The Warehouse. It will go off!”
Everclear from the very beginning had a rabid fan base in the Midwest, thanks to this all ages club where anyone, including teenage kids, could come see a show. One of the few true all age no alcohol venues in the country. National or local, everyone came through the Warehouse.
When we finally made it to the gig, the load in up those stairs was a killer! Luckily Steve, or some kids milling around always pitched in to cart stuff up (and down) those famous stairs.
And the cookies baked by Steve’s Mom! We looked forward to that after 3 months on the road because it seemed like a little piece of home. Thats what the Warehouse was and still is! A place you look forward to on a long tour where you knew you would have an enthusiastic crowd, hands to help on the stairs, a good night of merch sales, and cookies to hold you over ’til you made it to the next town, which was never ever as good as La Crosse and The Warehouse. Please help them out.”
Brian Nagan, FOUR LETTER LIE
The Warehouse is everything you want out of a music venue, and so much more. All ages, alcohol-free, and welcoming to everyone. I credit the start of my music career to Steve and its staff. I was privileged to play my first-ever out-of-state show at the Warehouse. Steve took a chance on my band when not many would. We developed an amazing relationship and friendship that continues close to 10 years later. The Warehouse was always my favorite venue to play, and I know first hand how important it is to the music community, and the City of La Crosse.
Kaine Delay, LEFT SPINE DOWN
Help save one of the best venues in North America. Played here with 16volt and CHEMLAB on the MIDI Ghetto Tour 2010.