People saddened by the impending closing on Dec. 15 of popular rock venue Strange Matter at 929 W. Grace St. may have a way to do something.
Bobby Egger, founder of Oregon Hill punk record store Vinyl Conflict, as well as Gabe Lopez and Harry Pinnix, have started a Go Fund Me Page that aims to keep the space a music venue. So far, in one day, they've raised almost $9,000 of a $150,000 goal.
As stated on the page, "there are talks of people taking it over (ourselves included. We've been in constant contact with the owners since news of the closing), but it takes a lot. There are debts that need to be paid, necessary repairs (I solemnly swear to fix up the bathrooms), and other costs to consider in keeping the spot in its proper glory!"
It continues: "Your donations would go on top of a potential business loan that would provide us the necessary funds to let all this happen, but the more we get in donations, the more likely it is for us to get our necessary loan, as we could ask for less. We know it seems like a lot, but our goal is only a portion of the projected funds we would need ... For complete transparency, its important that we let you know that we will most likely not be using the name Strange Matter. We feel like Strange Matter will always be remembered how it was, and we don't want to come in and take away from that. That doesn't mean we're going to completely change it, either!"
The organizers offer a disclaimer at the end that "any funds donated will not be used or withdrawn until a deal goes through and is finalized. Any unused funds will be returned to the contributor."
While the group has been tentative about speaking with media, Egger did post this comment on social media:
"Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working with a couple friends. This was just an idea and it simply whirl-winded into a reality. After speaking with so many of you yesterday, I realized we need to act on this rather than brainstorm.
Myself, Gabe Lopez and Harry Pinnix want to keep 929 West Grace Street a venue, just like all of you do.
I’ll keep this brief, I believe in this space. We will be taking the proper loans to make this right. We will continue to bring you the entertainment that you have enjoyed in this location for the last few decades. There is plenty that needs to change and we are already working to make sure that the space will adapt and update how it needs.
Help us share this link, there is a long road ahead of this, but I am confident in this decision.
yours in punk