Let’s start with the good news.
Hugh’s Room, the much-beloved club in Toronto’s west end is going to re-open March 3 thanks to the generosity of some music fans. They’ve raised some money to get the club back on track and have vowed to help with fundraising and financial restructuring. Yay!
Now the bad news: The rescue of Hugh’s Room is an anomaly as Toronto music venues continue to close at an alarming rate. The Toronto Star reports:
In the first two weeks of January, Toronto music venues seemed to be dropping like flies.
[D]ance club and indie band venue The Hoxton announced that it’s closing its doors at the end of January.
While the overall impression is that the 2017 Toronto live music scene is hurting due to dwindling attendance and interest, the reasons behind each venue’s closure seems to be more complicated than simply attributing them to audience apathy.
For example, businessman Richard Lambert, who co-owns the Hoxton with Toronto concert promotion firm Embrace and has hosted a wide variety of acts, DJs and after-parties ranging from The Chainsmokers to Skrillex to Zedd at the 627-capacity venue over the past five years, said that it wasn’t financial considerations that resulted in its closure.
“I guarantee you we would not close that club if the landlord had said, ‘Here’s a five-year lease,’ ” Lambert told the Star on Monday. “It would still be there — probably not because of me, but because the Embrace boys, this is what they do.”
Read the full story here. And by the way, punk club Soybomb HQ has closed, too.